5 Ways To Get Rid Of Roof Rats

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Roof rats are not merely annoying but can pose a significant health risk in your home. They carry diseases and parasites that are transmittable to human beings. Chief among these are rabies and rat bite fever which both have severe short and long-term health consequences and if not treated quickly, may be fatal.

There feces, urine, fur and nesting habits are unhygienic and increase the risk of illness, especially those associated with the respiratory system. Allergies, asthma and other respiratory diseases can be aggravated by the presence of roof rats.

In addition, they can cause significant structural damage to your home. They gnaw and nibble into structural elements weakening the structure of the home. Rats can also cause haywire with the electrics and wiring in the house.

Signs of Roof Rats:

Roof Rats

It is essential to get rid of roof rats as soon as you become aware of them. The following signs may indicate that roof rats have taken up residence in or near your home:

  • Rat droppings that appear as black, shiny and elongated pellets with blunt ends about a quarter to half inch in length.
  • Rat urine has a significant odor so if you smell urine but can't see it, there are probably rats about. Rat urine will also appear under a UV light.
  • Structural damage to the home and electrics where gnawing is clearly visible or the electrics in your home suddenly start being problematic.
  • Rats prefer to use the same paths when traveling from one point to another. This creates tracks that are a clear sign that there is a roof rat problem in your home.
  • If you hear scurrying, squeaking or gnawing sounds, it is probably rates going about there business. Sometimes you may hear screeching when the rats fight or mothers are protecting their young. These noises are most likely to occur at night.
  • While you may not see a rat scurrying around, you may catch glimpses of movement out of the corner of your eye. If you do see a rat, it is time to take action and get rid of roof rats in your home.

Five effective ways to get rid of these annoying rodents and keep them gone :

1. Bait And Trap

​Those old fashioned snap rat traps may seem outdated but are still extremely effective at eliminating rats. However, there are a few more advanced traps available these days that are just as effective at getting rid of rats permanently:

  • Electronic traps provide a bolt of electricity that will instantly kill a rat. The rats are then easy to dispose of and the traps can be used again.
  • Ultrasonic devices emit a frequency of sound that cannot be detected by the human ear but is highly annoying to rats. While this is a humane way to repel rats, there is some debate as to how well the devices work and their effect on other animals such as pets in the home, birds and wildlife.
  • Glue traps are best placed on the tracks that rats create (described above) and don't require baiting. As the rat runs across the trap it becomes stuck and cannot move. The downside is that you will have to dispose of a live rat. Check traps often as a trapped rat can starve to death which is considered inhumane.

​The choice of bait is important when using the bait and trap method. There are some bait options that are more desirable to rats and will therefore work better:

- Dehydrated or dried fruit
- Nuts
- Peanut butter
- Berries

If none of these foods are attracting rats, try using insects instead. Alternatively, bait the trap with yarn, tissue paper or other materials that the rats may use as nesting material. Dental floss seems to be particularly effective.

2. Poison

​Rat poison is highly effective at getting rid of rats. The poison basically dehydrates the rat sending it in a desperate search for water. This means that the rat will most likely leave the house and that there will be no body to dispose of. It is important to ensure that the rats have no access to water within the home in order for the process to be entirely effective.

There are a wide range of different poisons available to permanently eliminate rats. However, poisons are not just toxic to rats and can pose a danger to wildlife, pets and small children. Incorrect use of the products can also be hazardous to your health. Rat poison should always be used with caution and only in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. It is not recommended to use rat poison in homes with pets or small children.

3. Exclusion

​​Rats are classified to be pests or vermin and are therefore best eliminated entirely rather than trapped and released like other wildlife. However, if you do prefer a more humane method of getting rid of rats, exclusion is a good option although it will take time and effort in order to be effective.

Exclusion basically means sealing up your home in order to prevent rats from being able to gain access. Rats are small and can squeeze their bodies through the tiniest holes and cracks - even under doors and into air vents. In order to effectively exclude rats, it is recommended to call in the experts to ensure that every access point is effectively sealed up. However, this is an excellent long-term solution.

Exclusion can also help eliminate rats that are already resident in the home. Identify one entry and exit point that the rats are commonly using and leave this unsealed while sealing up the rest of the home. Remove all food and water sources and the rats should use this exit point to leave in search of food. Keeping food sources inaccessible to rats and a clean hygienic home is critical to the efficacy the exclusion technique.

However, it is recommended to use one of the above mentioned techniques to eliminate any rats in your home before using exclusion. Rats are resourceful and are likely to survive quite well without access to the outdoors even if you think that you have eliminated access to food and water. They will gnaw through just about any material to gain access to food or water.

It is also a good idea to use the exclusion technique if you have a recurring rat problem. For example, if you have eliminated rats only to have a new lot move-in a few days or weeks later, then you need to consider exclusion.

4. Pest Control Services

​The most effective route to eliminating rats permanently is to call in an expert pest control service. They will take care of any roof rat problem, no matter how big or small and give you the peace of mind that you don't have to deal with disposing of the critters. Pest control can also assist you in taking measures to implement exclusion so that the rats never return as well as provide you with additional preventative techniques.

5. Preventative Measures

Prevention is always better than cure so it is important to take steps that will stop rats from coming into your home in the first place:

Get rid of any clutter in the yard and make sure trees, bushes and shrubs are kept trim and tidy. Roof rats like to climb and if they aren't living in the home, they are probably nesting in the trees and bushes surrounding your home. Also free your home of clutter and keep it clean and hygienic. Reduce or eliminate food sources that may be attracting roof rats.

Factors to consider when choosing a snow removal rake

1. Length

When choosing the right rake, it is vital to consider the height of your roof in relation to the length of its handle. Snow removal rakes are extendable, so you should look at the maximum extension length of the handle.

However, most rakes are not very useful when extended to their full length; hence you should choose one that you don't have to stretch to its full extent to reach your roof.

2. Design

​The design of the rake significantly affects its comfort ability and effectiveness. It is better to choose a rake with a design that offers a good grip and doesn't get stuck on your roof edge. Also, rakes can cause damage to your roof shingles; hence you should choose one that won't damage your roof.

Curve-bladed and wheeled rakes are the best at protecting your roof.

3. Weight

​The weight of the rake has great significance on the level of comfort it provides and proper handling. Heavy rakes are very uncomfortable to use and also make you fatigued. You should go for a lightweight rake, but be sure to check the materials it is made of as a material like wood breaks when subjected to a lot of weight.

4. Durability

​Nobody wants to see their money go down the drain; hence you should consider buying a rake that doesn't break or rust. Rakes with aluminum handles and polyethylene are the most durable as they are not susceptible to rust and breakage.

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