These “super rats” can reach 16″ in length. Each female rat can give birth to 20 pups in her lifetime. Some factors affecting rat populations in cities include continuously mild winters, weather-related disasters, and encroachment of their habitats by new urban development.
Norway rats eat and contaminate food and damage properties by gnawing and burrowing. They spread diseases that affect people and pets.
Below is information on the many rat control options, such as rat repellent, traps, and rodenticides. We also offer prevention tips to help you with rat control, such as rodent proofing your home.
Eliminate Rats With Rat Traps
Rat traps are an effective method of non-toxic rat control. There are 3 types of rat traps commonly used for rodent control: Snap Traps, Glue Traps, and Electronic Traps.
These mechanical traps provide a quick solution to a rodent control problem and can be used many times. One advantage of rat traps is the ability to “recover” the rat to confirm its elimination.
The most important technique for effective trapping is good trap placement in areas of high rodent activity. The most common trapping mistake is using of too few traps.
Statistics show that more rodents are trapped on the first night than on any other night. For this reason, it is essential to use a large number of traps initially.
Some rats are harder to catch and are Neophobic or “extra cautious” of new objects that suddenly appear in their environment. For these cases, rat traps should be placed out, but left unset and baited for a couple days prior to setting the traps.
Eliminate and Prevent Rat Infestation With Repellents
Ultrasonic rodent repellents are an effective method of controlling rats. These high-pitched frequency sound waves emit a non-repetitive pattern to prevent rodents from habituating to the sound.
For additional effectiveness, the loudest spike in sound replicates the scream of a dominant male rodent. Rodents are very territorial and will constantly fight to establish dominance. The sound of a dominant rodent will discourage others from inhabiting a territory.
It is important to note that ultrasonic frequencies do not travel between walls. So for the most effective rat control, ultrasonic units need to be placed in multiple rooms.
The most common repellent mistake is using them alone to control an established infestation.
Rodent populations will continue to increase in conditions that allow easy access to food and shelter.
Sanitation efforts in conjunction with rodent proofing provide the best solution to reduce or completely eliminate these conditions.
Two excellent tips are to seal off openings to your home and eliminate their likely food sources.
- To adequately keep rats out of your home all openings need to be sealed off – remember rats only need an opening of 1/2″ or the size of a nickel to gain entry to your home.
- In addition to exclusion, careful storage of foods and elimination of clutter are valuable steps in the fight to control rats. If Norway rats become established in or around your yard, they are usually obtaining food from obvious sources. These include garbage, outdoor dog pens, vegetable gardens, compost piles, and or bird feeders.
And remember, it only requires one poorly managed house or yard for a colony of rats to take over the neighborhood.