If you have unwanted visitors like rats and mice in your home, you want to get rid of them right away. Wild rats can carry disease, and they can do severe damage to your home as they chew wires and work their way through your storage cabinets. Fortunately there are some steps homeowners can take to eradicate a rat problem and reduce the chances that more rats will find their way into the house.

Rats are unpopular house guests.

Step 1

Walk the perimeter of your home and look for cracks in the walls that could be allowing rats to enter your home. Use a flashlight to find problem areas in hard to reach places. Rats can squeeze through the smallest opening, so be sure to seal any cracks you find.

Step 2

Watch for signs of rat infestation, such as droppings or chewed boxes. Coat your counter tops and floor with a thin layer of talcum powder before you go to bed and look for tracks the next morning to determine where the rats are coming in.

Step 3

Exercise good food hygiene to reduce the attractiveness of your home to rats. Put leftover food away immediately, and store it in airtight bowls and bags that will not leave any odor that could bring the rats into your home. Never leave food lying out overnight -- an open invitation not only to rats but mice and other pests as well.

Step 4

Set rat traps in the places where you have spotted droppings and other signs of infestation. If you have young children and pets, it is best to place the traps inside a cabinet instead of leaving them on floors or counters. It might take a number of nights to capture all the rats in your home; if you see one rat, chances are there are many more lurking inside your house.

Step 5

Purchase ultrasonic pest repellers to drive rats away with sound. These devices emit a high frequency sound that does not bother humans, cats or dogs, but drives rats and mice crazy. You should, of course, not use these devices if you have pet mice or rats in the house. Plug one unit into an electrical outlet in each room of the home. Use two devices for larger rooms.