Rats get a bad rap, but did you know that studies have shown rats to be compassionate and help their fellow rodents? That being said, you might not be thrilled to have rats in or around your property! You’ve come to the right place for solutions to rat problems that are not only humane, but actually work! Keep in mind, virtually all rat conflicts are a result of lack of cleanliness.
Rats Outside Your Home?
Your bird feeder may be the issue. Birds can leave messes behind when feasting from your bird feeder and rats may see this as a delectable feast for them to enjoy.
Reduce the amount of seeds that fall to the ground. You can use a seed tray under your feeder, look for bird food that does not create a lot of waste (like shelled peanuts, sunflower hearts, suet, nectar, thistle, cracked corn, and hulled millet), and be sure to sweep up fallen seeds. Store birdseed in an air and watertight container that is rodent-proof. Place feeders as far away from your home as possible, and use baffles to prevent rats from climbing the pole.
If your bird feeder is not the issue, it may be that your yard could use some tidying up.
- Don’t leave trash out overnight, and make sure trash is always stored in bins with a secure lid. This will help reduce conflicts with other animals as well!
- Don’t leave pet food or pet droppings outside.
- Remove wood or rubbish from your property – rats love to hang out here!
Rats Inside Your Home?
If you see droppings, notice gnawed holes in baseboards or door frames, see smudge marks on walls, hear sounds of movement in walls or the attic, or your dog or cat is staring at the wall, you may have rats inside your home.
Rats can enter buildings in a number of ways, including holes, heating vents, or anywhere there’s a gap. Seal holes and openings with heavy-weighted material (1/4-inch hardware cloth or heavy-gauge screening), plug wall and floor gaps with copper mesh, and finish sealing openings with caulking or foam insulation combined with wire mesh.
Rodent Control Fill Fabric is a mice and rat repellent that has been shown to work short term.
For a long term solution, you can use an L-shaped barrier of hardware cloth or concrete to prevent burrowing along foundations. Make sure to bury the footer about a foot deep and extend it out from the foundation about a foot.
Please note, Humane Action Pittsburgh (HAP) is not a wildlife rescue and is unable to address concerns or assist with wildlife emergencies. Please utilize the resources on our website to find the appropriate organization to contact. Submissions to HAP through our contact form or email will not be able to be addressed.