How to Remove Destructive Rats in Your Attic: Easy Steps to Effective Control
It’s true: Rats are very destructive. Just a thought of having these crafty creatures on the property makes our skin crawl. Roof rats can climb your tall greenery or wines to gain access to your roof and then attic. Not only these annoying rodents are destructive but they can also spread diseases.
If you often hear pitter-pattering in your attic, then chances are high you have a rat problem. We know how to make your attic rat-free. By following our tips you will surely make your rat removal successful. And here is how to do it.
Table of Contents
- Roof and Norway Rats: What is the difference?
- What is the first step in controlling rats?
- Roof rat exclusion
- How to kill pesky rats in attic
- The best way to make away with rats in attic
Roof and Norway Rats: What is the difference?
Roof rats are not-native-to-North-America species that were identified in 2001. They pose both a safety and health hazard. These rodents can transmit a number of diseases to humans including rat-bite fever, salmonella, leptospirosis, murine typhus and plague. In addition to contaminating feed stuffs and stored food, crafty roof rats will chew on cable and wiring.
Norway rats as well as brown Roof rats are nocturnal. They are generally colonial. These rodents have been observed climbing metal – round – poles several ft. to reach bird feeders. They dig well and can excavate large burrow systems. In fact, these species prefer some fresh food over garbage. Norway rats are widespread in urban and rural areas. Norwegian rats are active all year round and – what is not very good for your attic – can breed in high numbers.
Similarity: Roof rats as well as Norwegian rats are nocturnal.
Difference: Behavior and ecology of roof rats differ from that of Norwegian rats which is essential to consider when implementing rat control method.
The aerial nature of roof rats is the most significant difference between these species. They are great climbers and travel along wires, rooftops and through trees that are often used by these rodents to enter buildings. Roof rats prefer warm areas. These creatures are more likely to get inside the attic. As far as pesky rats don’t like to be seen, they prefer to live in the attic and inside the walls.
How to know you have pesky rats in your attic
- Listen to the sounds. Although rats are not very big rodents, they are big enough to make noise. Clunking, skittering and squeaking coming from the attic are all those signs of rat presence on your property.
- Examine your attic as well as walls for rat droppings. These creatures leave a ton of feces which look like brown grains of rice. You can also notice a “rat type” smell in the air.
- Look for signs of damage. These voracious eaters can consume nearly everything. Chewed boxes of paper, chewed electrical wires are all those signs of their presence.
What is the first step in controlling rats?
Actually, the first step in roof rat control is making the area less attractive and less suitable for these crafty rodents. Keep in mind, they are very sensitive to slight changes in the environment. Even slight habitat modifications may cause these rodents to redirect their activity patterns.
If you want to reduce rat infestation you need to eliminate food sources and do the following:
- Remove attractants – bird feeders, pet foods, standing water.
- Secure garbage in special rodent-proof containers.
- Remove crucial-to-shy-rats protective cover.
- Store materials properly.
- Prune trees – the branches should not touch overhead wires.
- Prune the skirts of trees.
Roof rat exclusion
As far as roof rats are great climbers, it’s not difficult for these critters to get through really small openings. These rodents often enter homes through garage or pet doors that do not fit tightly or where utility wires or pipes enter a building.
Rat-proofing a home requires sealing all possible entry holes especially where wires, pipes enter a building.
Roof rats are frequently using roof entry holes/points to get into the attic. If you want to prove that pesky rats run on your roof in order to enter the entry holes into your attic, set traps on the roof.
The most common locations for smart pesky rodents to sneak into your roof are through damaged eaves and at the vent openings. These locations provide instant access to the roof area and the attic. Some structures have gaps around the chimney where these rodents can slip through.
Talcum powder is a good solution to find evidence of rats.
Place it on counters and along walls. Leave the powder overnight – you can also use flour – then check for fresh rats’ track s in the morning.
Once those annoying rats are sealed out, you don’t need to trap them on the roof. We suggest trapping pesky rats inside the attic.
Five working steps to crack your rats-in-attic problem
- Inspect the house and determine all the open gaps pesky rats are using to get inside.
- Seal up all of these holes using special products rats can’t chew through.
- Trap the rats with snap traps
- Remove pesky rodents until you hear no more scratching/sounds in your attic or walls.
- Clean up the attic, use special odor destroyer spray which can be effectively used for bacteria left behind from rats in walls and attic. It’s essential to decontaminate the attic after rat removal not only for health reasons but for getting rid of the pheromone scent which encourages new rats to enter.
How to kill pesky rats in attic
Most homeowners usually start their DIY rat removal with a few glue or snap traps. Sometimes they assume that the most working way to make away with roof or Norway rats is to set up some poison. You have to know that rats are cautious about what they are eating and can eat a little bit from any food source. These creatures are smart and can mark the bait – that made them sick – to prevent the colony from eating it.
Poison can be used if there is a large infestation. But when it comes to attics, poison won’t solve your rat problem for many reasons. Moreover it will create a huge number of real problems like the one when rat will go somewhere isolated to die and you will be stuck with the smell of the rat’s rotting carcass. If you don’t want to end up with dead rodents in inaccessible areas, poisoning is not a good solution.
Glue board is also a bad choice. Rats are pretty smart about avoiding glue board options. And if they do get stuck, it’s a slow death which is not very human.
Trapping with snap traps is the most efficient way to kill crafty rats in attics. Snap trap method is quick, human and effective. When set correctly this is the best overall tool for rat removal in attics. These traps are strong and kill instantly.
Purchase the following:
Victor Professional Rat Trap™ – effective snap trap for killing rats
Cost: $19.39 (9 traps)
When it comes to snap traps, we suggest buying rat trap expanded trigger designs instead of metal trigger rat. Why? Rats will easily and quickly clean the bait off the old metal trigger rat traps but it will be not so easy to do with the newer design.
Another positive side of using expanded trigger traps is that they can be used without any bait. Just place the traps alongside the wall where the rat is foraging and the rat will step on it.
Snap traps are effective and cheap. But if it is difficult for you to set them properly you can employ a professional. There are many rat exterminator companies that can set effective snap traps in correct locations and do the job correctly and thoroughly.
The best way to make away with rats in attic
Setting snap traps in your attic is surely the best way to remove those pesky rodents. Kill rats only after you’ve sealed all the entry points. Note, location is essential when setting traps. As a rule rats travel the same pathways.
Do the following:
- Inspect the attic.
- Spot the rat trails.
- Then set Viktor snap traps on these trails.
- Make sure you position snap traps close to a high-traffic rat track.
- Set a dozen of snap traps – one or two is not enough.
Bait snap traps with a variety of foods including nutmeats, peanut butter, fruit or gumdrops. Roof rats may avoid traps for some time as they are afraid of new object. We suggest using pre-baiting method. Bait and left the traps unset until the rats are feeding well on the bait. Rat odors on the trap will attract other rats.
Traps can be also effective if set in rat bait stations on the roof where power lines enter the house.
Controlling rats in your attic depends on the size of infestation that already exists. Start their removal as quickly as possible. Remember these creatures multiply rapidly.