How to Get Rid of Rats Without Killing Them

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Finding rats living inside your home is a common homeowner nightmare. After the initial shock and panic of finding evidence of rat inhabitants in the living space subsides, more and more homeowners are wanting to get rid of rats without killing them. An honorable approach to pest control, setting nonlethal rat traps, and implementing nontoxic natural rat repellent methods is easier than it seems. There's no need to rely on outdoor rat poison when these natural, no-kill rat trap methods can do just as fine a job.

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Set Rat Traps

Once you've determined that you're dealing with a rat infestation — whether that's because you've been smelling the ammonia present in rat urine, you've been spotting rat droppings around your house, or you've been noticing gnaw marks on your walls and furniture legs — it's time to set rat traps. Getting rid of the rats currently present in your home is the first step in dealing with any infestation because rats multiply quickly.

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Catching a rat without killing it is all about setting a humane trap. Luckily, humane catch and release rat traps — or no-kill mouse traps, as they are also known — are easily available for purchase online. All you'll need to do to set one of these up is raise its door and load it with some bait. The best bait is whatever foodstuffs your rats have been feasting on most regularly. Depending on how many rats you're dealing with, it may take a few catch and release rounds to rid your space of rats entirely. Once you've caught the rats, make sure to release them outside but nearby your house. Releasing rats too far outside their familiar surroundings will increase their chances of perishing outdoors.

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Apply Natural Rat Repellent

Now that your internal space has been dealt with, it's time to turn your attention to preventing future rat infestations. The best way to keep rats out of your home is to make your home seem incredibly unappealing. The easiest, nonlethal ways to do this are to target rats' senses. Rats naturally detest smells of peppermint and cayenne pepper. Apply natural rat repellents concocted by mixing peppermint essential oil and water in a spray bottle or cayenne pepper and water in a spray bottle and spritz the areas where you've seen rats.

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Another natural rat repellent is high-pitched sounds. There are sonic animal repellers you can purchase that emit a frequency of sound that rats cannot stand. Installing one of these devices can be a huge help. However, if you have pets or young children living with you, there is a chance they could perceive the frequencies from these devices, so be mindful when installing and adjust if necessary. On top of these options, there's also the idea of introducing elements of integrated pest management into your approach, such as introducing a birdbath onto your property to entice more birds who are natural rodent predators. Fewer rats on your property as a whole means fewer rats likely inside your house.

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Seal All Entry Points

An easy way to get rid of rats without killing them is to never come in contact with them in the first place. Rats gravitate toward light-emitting openings. Surveying all of your doorways, vents, and other entry points for cracks and crevices and sealing those tightly is a great way to keep out rats. While rats can certainly chew through certain seals, ideally you are also implementing some of these tips to create as inhospitable an environment as possible, naturally deterring pests of all kinds.

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