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How to get rid of rats

Rats are a major pest if they get onto your property. Crafty and relentless, they will exploit any gap in search of a warm place to nest and easy access to food. Not only are rats capable of causing significant damage, but they can also transmit diseases and contaminate food via urine and droppings.

Rat removal solutions can vary depending on the rat species. Since rats are nocturnal, it’s unlikely that you will actually spot a live rat. However, if spotted, correct identification will help with choosing the most effective rat removal and prevention method, saving you both time and money. If you think you’ve spotted the signs of rats around your property, contact your local Western Exterminator office today and schedule a property inspection.


Do natural repellents work?

The short answer: No.

Though DIY rat control and prevention may appear the cheaper option, the chances of sub-standard control are significantly higher. Incorrect pest identification, treatment, and/or additional professional services required after the fact will make the overall cost higher in the long run.

Natural rat repellents are never really an ideal solution for getting rid of rats as they do not completely eliminate the problem. They may eliminate a rat here and there, but rats breed quickly. If they have built a nest somewhere in your home, such as in your walls, a DIY method will not eradicate the whole nest.Though DIY rat control and prevention may appear the cheaper option, the chances of sub-standard control are significantly higher. Incorrect pest identification, treatment, and/or additional professional services required after the fact will make the overall cost higher in the long run.

Rat inspection: Where we look

In order to get rid of rats and keep them away, your building should be inspected from top to bottom. Our pest specialists will thoroughly survey the property, getting into the corners and other hidden spots. Some areas that we can help you monitor include:


Crawlspaces and basements


Garages and outside


1. Attics

Roof rats can tear holes in roofing tiles and the roof itself, and build nests in attics. Near your roof, your specialist will check to see if there are any tree branches touching or overhanging on your property as rats can use these to jump onto your roof. Inside your attic, your specialist will look for any signs of rats nests or the nest itself, and they’ll search for any entry points the rats may be utilizing to enter your property.

2. Crawlspaces and basements

Your specialist will look for holes and spaces in walls and foundations searching for any openings greater than ½” that a rat may use as an access point. The specialist will also check cluttered areas, storage rooms, and dark, undisturbed areas where rats may have built their nest.

3. Vents

Your specialist will check all of your vents, particularly vents that lead beneath the house or under porches. Rats can use your vents as access points to gain entry into your home.

4. Garages and outside

Your specialist will check around the outside of your house to look for cracks or spaces in your foundation, gaps near vents, damaged drains, or cracks in your garage door as these are all potential entry points for a rat.

If rats cannot get into your house, they might chew their way through the rubber sweeps at the bottom of a garage door or into sheds and other outlying buildings. Our pest specialists will help install new door sweeps if necessary.

How to get rid of rats in your house

There are things you can do in your home or business to help with rat prevention. Below are our top tips to prevent a rodent problem on your property.


Glue boards

Bait stations




Traps can be utilized to capture the rat inside of your home. This poison-free method involves placing your own traps in high activity areas and luring the rats in with types of food that they love. Traps can kill rats fast and effectively, however they will not eliminate a whole rat infestation.

Glue boards

Glue boards are not the best way to eliminate rats, but they are an option. Glue boards should be placed where there is frequent rat activity, and where children and pets can’t access them. After walking over it, a rat will get stuck on the glue board. Days later, the rat will die because it won’t be able to access any food. This method will also not eliminate an entire rat infestation.

Bait stations

Interior bait stations with rodenticides should be used in areas where children and pets cannot access them. Since a bait station works based on rats' feeding habits, using this method will not immediately kill them. The rat will take a bite of the rodenticide and then head back to its nest, usually dying a few days later.


One of the best ways to get rid of rats is to get rid of their hiding places. A clean home will definitely help to prevent rats from making it their home. Rats love any place that will provide them with food and shelter, so cleaning up after meals, keeping your food in sealed containers, and decluttering storage and attic spaces will all help to prevent rats from being able to build a nest in your home.

How to get rid of rats outside

Following the tips below will help to keep rats away from your house as they will make your property and the exterior of your home less appealing place for rats to live.


Exterior bait stations

Clean garden or yard



Western’s exclusion service involves sealing any cracks, gaps, holes, and crevices in your home to stop rodents from entering and infesting your property. This control method will help make your house more difficult for rats to enter, forcing them to look elsewhere.

Exterior bait stations

To control rats on the outside of your property, you may consider using exterior bait stations. These bait stations need to be consistently monitored so you can add more bait when there is an increase in feeding activity or if the bait is totally consumed.

Clean garden or yard

Rats will use debris and vegetation around a yard to hide. Once the rodents settle on your property, it will only be a matter of time before they try to gain entry to your home. Keep rats from infesting your yard by:

  • Cleaning up loose vegetation
  • Making sure that firewood is stored away from the sides of buildings
  • Trimming back bushes, trees, and tall grass that encroach on the property
  • Keeping your grass cut short


How to keep rats away

The best solution to keep rats away for good is exclusion. Below are a few of our exclusion methods as well as things you can do around your home to make it less appealing to rats.

Seal entrances

Fill gaps in exterior walls

Repair roofs

Monitor drains and sewer pipes

Eliminate access to food sources


Seal entrances

Young rats can squeeze through small gaps under doorways, so strips should be added to the bottom of your doors as a deterrent. Rats can also use cat flaps to get in and will enlarge gaps by gnawing to enter homes via garages. Though they are nice for cats to easily come back inside, cat flaps should be removed to avoid any rat infestations.

Fill gaps and exterior walls

Holes or small openings around utility cables or pipework need to be filled with stainless steel wire wool and caulking or concrete. Steel or aluminum plating can be used. Rats can jump, so it is important to make sure you check up to a height of about 4 feet.

Repair roofs

Rats climb along electrical cables or use overhanging branches to get into loft spaces and attics. They will enter these rooms through gaps in broken roof tiles or under eaves. Check to see if you have any roof damage and get it repaired immediately. You should also use wire mesh to seal any gaps.


Monitor drains and sewer pipes

Rats have been known to swim up damaged sewer pipes and get around u-bends in toilets, so get into the habit of keeping toilet seat lids closed. They will also use drain pipes and drainage outlets. Use tightly fitting metal grates or screens to cover drains, especially in basement areas. Regularly check pipework and ensure any breakage is fixed immediately.

Eliminate access to food sources

Keep food for humans, birds, or pets in metal or glass containers with tight-fitting lids and ensure prompt cleanup of any food debris. Outdoor garbage should be kept in metal garbage cans with securely fitted lids as well. If you have a compost heap, do not include organic food waste, as this will attract rats. Organic food waste should be composted in an enclosed bin.

Take action

For reliable rat prevention and removal services, call the specialists at Western Exterminator. We have been the reliable and trusted resource for rat removal and prevention since 1921. Schedule a property inspection by contacting us today.

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