Large urban environments provide excellent habitats for rats to survive and thrive. Rats are active at night and generally avoid contact with people.
Here is a list of helpful tips that can encourage a healthy environment and reduce further contact with rodents:
Monitor your property to determine where rats live, travel and feed.
- Monitor your property for evidence of rats (capsule-shaped droppings, burrows, chewed food, gnaw marks on walls and surfaces).
Improve sanitation, and eliminate nesting sites.
- Store garbage in rodent-proof containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Reduce clutter to prevent hiding spots (wood piles, old tires, etc.).
- Eliminate sources of food (fallen fruit, pet food left outdoors, grass seed, etc.).
- Secure composters to prevent rodents from entering as they are always searching for a source of food.
- Keep areas around bird feeders and bird baths cleaned as this can encourage frequent activity.
Prevent rodents from entering your home.
- Inspect the outside of your home to identify rodent entry points (any opening larger than 1/2 inch in diameter).
- Use heavy gauge wire mesh to cover vents.
- Use metal sheeting to cover holes.
If you have an infestation, hire a professional to set out bait and follow these precautions:
- Ensure the bait station is enclosed to provide a shelter area for the rats to feed.
- Ensure children and pets do not have access to bait stations.
- Lock and secure the bait stations to prevent access to the bait (your technician should ensure this).
- Be aware that bait can lead to secondary poisoning (for example, cats may become ill after eating rodents poisoned by bait). Therefore, ensure your technician is aware of any pets in the house and uses a locked bait station.
Continue to monitor the effectiveness of your control measures.
- Clean up droppings as soon as they are observed, so that any new activity is apparent. This is one method to determine old from new activity.
- Maintain sanitation and rodent proofing as preventive strategies.