Many homeowners have a basic understanding of how to control or get rid of ants, spiders and cockroaches in their homes but rat infestations can be tricky. Rats are persistent and sly creatures that can enter your home through the most unlikely of avenues and, once they have set up residence, they can multiply quickly. Taking early action is the key to successfully ridding your attic of a rat infestation and natural rat repellents are a useful tool in the process.
About Rats in the Attic
There are two types of rats that you may find in your home, Norway rats and roof rats. Norway rats, also called sewer rats, typically stick to the lower floors of a home while roof rats tend to hide out in crawl spaces and in the attic. There are several ways to check your attic for a rat infestation. Look for rat droppings and discarded rat nests. Listen for rustling noises coming from the attic just after the sun has set and look for rats scurrying across utility lines near your home. If you notice any of these signs you may have rats in your attic.
Rat Control by Sanitation
Keeping your home clean is one of the most effective and natural ways to keep it rodent-free. Store firewood and gardening equipment in neat piles outdoors, off the ground so rats cannot burrow under them. Keep your garbage containers sealed with tight-fitting lids and take the trash out of your home frequently. Keep the vegetation around your home limited and do not keep any climbing hedges like honeysuckle and English ivy on your home or fence line. Engaging in these practices will help to prevent future infestations.
Other Natural Rat Repellents
Rats are very persistent creatures and there are few natural rat repellents that work for any extended period of time. Norway rats can be flushed from their holes with water from a hose and, once they are gone, the hole may be plugged with dirt or concrete. Introducing natural predators like dogs and cats to your yard is another natural way to keep rats from entering your home and attic. Some oils, like peppermint oil, have a strong odour that may repel rats. To use peppermint oil, soak cotton balls in the oil and sprinkle them near rat runs and in rat holes.
Commercial Rat Repellents
Aside from traps and poisons, there are several other commercial rat control products available including some that are natural. Products like Shake-Away and Fresh Cab rodent killer are marketed as chemical-free and safe for households where children and pets are present. Natural rat repellents typically take the shape of granules or flakes that can be sprinkled throughout the home in order to repel rats. Sprinkle these products in your attic and around known rat runs.