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How To Battle Rats

You may have seen lab rats that were cute, rolling their eyes and scampering in their cages. Or maybe you have laughed at those tame TV creatures doing funny antics while trailing their tapering tails...

Well, whether or not you find lab rats and trained rats to be cute, you must admit its wild cousins are annoying, to say the least.

Wild rats destroy household products and food items. They make your home dirty and threaten you with a variety of diseases that they carry.

Worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases directly and indirectly by way of ticks, mites, and fleas. Everyone knows about The Black Plague spread by fleas that lived on rats. There are many other bacterial and viral diseases these vermin carry.

So who on earth is not fed up with the activities of this creature, and would not want to get rid of them?

To eliminate rats, the first place to start is to know your enemy well and then mount an attack on them.

It may seem at first a daunting task to eliminate them as rats are prolific breeders; but it is quite possible to keep them at bay over the long run.

Within six months time, one single rat can turn into the a hundred as rats are very fertile and have a short breeding period. Destroying rats completely that are around your home or in the work place will require some time. But you can get rid of them, with a bit of patience and knowledge.

Where should you start? First, keep your house clean and then implement some pest control techniques.

Rats love all sorts of dirty places. They are attracted to garbage containers and garbage heaps. People actually do go to the dump to shot rats as they are usually plentiful in such area

Keep the lid of the garbage containers tightly closed. And clean up the junk around your home. You can make massive inroads against this enemy, by destroying where they like to live... clear away old lumber and other "trash heaps." Remove your old junk cars a sweet home for rats. Clena up old sheds and the garage as well.

Rats have very flexible bodies - be very alert to the tiniest holes in structures and close them up.

Trapping Rats
  • Set traps out as soon as rats are detected.

  • Set traps where evidence of activity is found - along walls, behind objects, in dark corners, or where the rat is forced through a narrow opening, such as in the tunnel where the rat enters and exits a building.

  • Move boxes and objects around to create narrow runways leading to the traps.

  • Use as many traps as are practical so trapping time will be short and decisive. A dozen traps may be necessary for a heavily infested home.

  • Place the trigger side of the traps next to the wall.

  • Bait traps with peanut butter (which is difficult to lick off traps with expanded triggers), hot-dog slices, or bacon. If necessary, hold the bait on with a thread or a twist tie.

  • If rats are traveling on rafters or pipes, fasten traps to them using screws, wire, or strong rubber bands. Secure the traps before setting them.

Snap traps:  Snap traps are the most common way to trap and kill rats. They are considered to be more humane than the use of poison because such traps generally kill the rats instantly. Poisons can be used, but are not recommended as they may not always be effective. Rats may die in hard to reach areas. And other animals maybe poisoned unwittingly.

Neotoma magister
Allegheny Woodrat
Look for traps that allow you to hold down the snapping bar before the catch or trigger is set. Always be careful with your fingers! You can use several traps in one single room.

While snap traps are reusable - I admit to just tossing a cloth rag over both the dead rat and trap and throwing everything away.

Electronic traps:  Battery operated traps that kill rats by electrocuting them are available. They are more expensive. The one I purchased recently worked fine - killed 15 rats, until it got wet and short-circuited. If you can keep this out of the rain, etc. electronic traps do work. You place peanut butter through one end of a samll box, the rat enters from the other end and gets "zapped." Then you dump the rat out into a waste receptacle and rebait the trap. I always wore disposable gloves when using this elecronic trap to prevent any contact with the rats.

Rat Terriers:  Dogs and large cats do catch and kill rats and other rodents. Some people actually get rat terriers or similar dog breeds to help keep rats from overwhelming their properties. I recommend the following e-book for training your Rat Terrier, Rat Terrier Training Tips.

One source of rats that can be overlooked is your roof. Roof rats typically reach your house via tree branches. If a branch of a tree is hanging over your roof, cut it back immediately to prevent roof rats from returning.

If you have rats you know how annoying they can be. But you can get rid of rats permanently. The first step is to make sure your house and yard are as clean as can be by removing debris and other temptations for rats. Then set up traps where you do find evidence of a rat's presence. You Will notice that the rats you kill get younger and smaller. Then one day there will be no rats caught. Then keep on the outlook for new rats coming into your territory...

Follow the above tips to make your home a rat free house on a permanent basis.

About the Author:  Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: How To Do Card Tricks, Sustainable World | Wind Energy, Tattoo Finder, Dieting Help | Move More - Eat Less, and On The Hook | Surf Fishing Rods.

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