Rats will live in almost any environment that provides them with food, water and shelter. Unfortunately, this can include a home's loft or attic. Rats are generally larger than mice and have hairless ears and a hairless tail that is longer than their body. A loft space is an attractive situation for a rat because it will provide protection and keep the rodent from being seen on a regular basis. If not removed quickly, several rats can climb into the loft, mate and produce an epidemic.
Place snap traps around areas that the rats frequent. You can easily identify such areas by looking for large piles of rat droppings.
Bait the traps with a slice of apple, a dollop of peanut butter or a piece of cheese. Avoid using insecticides in the home, especially if there are pets that can come across the trap.
Secure the traps to the ground with duct tape. This will ensure that the rat does not run off with the trap attached to it.
Check the trap several times a day. Once a rat has been caught, pick up the trap and dead rat with gloved hands and place both into a garbage bag. Throw the bag into a dustbin outdoors. If the rat is still alive, cover its head with a plastic bag until it stops moving and then place it into the plastic bag to dispose of it.
Wash your hands with hot water and soap.
Keep the home's yard free of pet food and human food, which may attract rats.
Keep any shrubs or bushes near the home trimmed. Overgrown shrubbery will provide a comfortable habitat for the rats. New bushes should be planted at least three feet away from the home.
Close outdoor garbage can lids tightly.
Seal any openings or cracks in the foundation, windows, doors and home's exterior. A rat can squeeze through a very small space.