Rats are bothersome and sometimes frightening rodents that like to live in the insulation of your home, inside crawl spaces, underneath floorboards, in basements or areas that contain lots of boxes, in cupboards where food is kept, and in areas where garbage is stored. If you have noticed rat fecal matter in areas of your home, heard strange noises at night, or seen a rat running through your house, it's time to take action. There are several steps you can take at home to get rats out of your house.
Seal Up With Steel Wool
Place steel wool into any holes or cracks in the walls of your home. If you notice any gaping areas outside, seal those up with steel wool as well. If you have a crawl space, install a screen around the space to prevent rats from getting in. Open your cupboards under the sink and check to see if there are any exposed pipes. Rats love to run along pipes, so stuff any pipes coming out of the wall with steel wool. Douse all of the steel wool with peppermint oil after it is in its place. Rats and mice can't stand the smell or taste of peppermint oil, and they will steer clear of the areas.
Keep Food Away
Place all food either in the refrigerator or in airtight, sealed canisters. If you have a fruit tree outside, remove any fruit from the ground and throw it away. Keep all garbage cans sealed and make sure all trash is picked up. If rats are being fed, they will stick around. If there is no food source, they will leave. Put all plates directly in the dishwasher or wash dishes immediately after being used.
Cut Back Foliage
Rats can enter your house through trees and bushes. If trees and bushes are resting against the house, it makes an easy path directly into your house through any holes or cracks in the foundation or right through the doors or windows. Use clippers or a saw to remove any branches or bushes that are within 1 foot of the house. Do not grow any new foliage next to the house, where rats can hide and climb to get inside.
Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.