If you want to learn how to get rid of rats and mice, you’ll need to:
- Seal off any cracks or holes
- Store all of your food in airtight containers
- Set traps
You might be inclined to immediately call the experts who offer professional pest control services, and that’s certainly an effective plan. But if you do want to try it on your own, we’ve got tips to help. Keep reading to learn more details about how to get rid of mice and rats.
1. Sealing Off Cracks and Holes: Look around the floorboards or door frames to spot any points of entry for a rodent. You may think a hole is too small for a mouse to fit through, but house mice can actually fit through openings as small as a dime, and rats can fit through openings as small as a quarter. Use caulking and steel wool to seal off cracks and crevices in your home. Replace any worn weather stripping, and check the vents and openings in your chimneys, too.
2. Storing Food in Air-Tight Containers: Most rodents come into your home seeking food, water, and shelter. If you get rid of accessible food and water sources, you’ll be more likely to get rid of the pests. Start by putting all food in air-tight containers. This includes pantry items like flour and sugar, or snacks and cereal. Be sure to sweep the floor and take out the trash regularly, too. Lastly, don’t forget to put away your pet’s food when they’re done with it—rats and mice may be lured in by their food as well.
3. Setting Traps: Glue traps, snap traps, and mouse bait stations are a good method for those wondering how to get rid of mice with children in the house. Use several electric mouse traps throughout the room if you want to catch mice quickly. Once you’ve killed a mouse, empty the trap right away and set it up again to kill the rest of the infestation. Use plastic or wooden snap traps if you’re looking for the cheapest option, though these traps can be difficult to set up.
Rats are usually much bigger than mice and will require a bigger trap. If you don’t want to see the dead rat or can’t bear the thought of killing it, you may want to consider a live trap. Once the rat or mouse is caught in the trap, you can drive a mile or two away from your home to free the rodent.
Following these three steps should take care of any mice or rat infestation. But if you are still wondering how to get rid of rats or mice at this point, it may be time to bring in a professional pest control company.
How to Identify a Rat Infestation
To identify a rat infestation in your home, look out for brown, cylindrical rat droppings, urine, greasy marks on door frames or floorboards, gnaw marks on wood and piping, holes in food packaging, and pets getting excited or upset.
You will likely find the rats in your walls, attics, basements, cabinets, or storage areas of the home. If you inspect these areas and still haven’t found where the rats are hanging out, you may want to check occupied rooms in your home. You might also listen for squeaking or gnawing sounds at night.
Outdoor Rat Infestations
If you suspect rats are infesting an area of your yard, you can identify them by looking for signs such as:
- Rat burrows in the foundations of walls or around plants
- Gnaw marks on wood and piping
- Runways, or areas where grass and soil have been pushed down by rats running over it repeatedly
Tools To Identify Rats
Identifying rats inside or outside of the home can be tricky, but having the right tools will help you do the job. Spot rat urine using a UV light or UV rodent tracker. This will make any type of urine more obvious and can help you to identify where the rodents are coming from. RodoFiber can also help you detect the rats. These handy cotton balls are covered in a non-toxic fluorescent powder, which can be used with the UV light to detect where the rats are going in your house.
- Inspect for rats during high-activity times, usually at dusk or just after it gets dark.
- Use a flashlight to inspect dark areas.
- Older rat droppings will be lighter and harder than new droppings.
- Focus on inspecting areas that might provide water, food, or shelter for rats, such as cupboards, pantries, woodpiles, waterways, or the garage.
- Rats may be entering the home through windows, doorways, or roofs.
Why Do Rats Invade Your Home?
Rats invade your home because they are seeking shelter, food, or water. Construction work, cold weather, food scarcity, or predators may increase the likelihood of rats coming into your home. Rats are also more likely to invade the home if garbage and food are left out for extended periods of time. So if you’re asking how to get rid of rats/mice, the best first step is to eliminate their access to your food and water sources.
Steps to Getting Rid of Rats/Mice
Ready to get rid of rats and mice once and for all? Follow all of these steps to eliminate rodents:
- Close off any points of entry using caulking and steel wool.
- Figure out where the rats/mice are coming from by looking for droppings, urine, etc.
- Set traps near the areas you think are infested with rodents.
- Bait the traps.
- Clean up crumbs, put out the garbage regularly, and seal food in air-tight containers.
- Dispose of the mice and re-set the traps until you believe you’ve gotten rid of all of the rodents.
- Minimize the chance of mice and rats inhabiting areas outside your home by getting rid of weeds, lining your foundation with gravel, and keeping debris and clutter away from your home.
Contact Sage Pest Control
Sometimes rats and mice stick around despite your best efforts. If you’re ready to call in the professionals to handle the job, contact us at Sage Pest Control. We offer a full range of pest control services in North Carolina and only hire and train the best technicians in the business. We’ll take the time to inspect your home and determine your specific needs.