Rats can get inside just about anywhere. They climb well, and they love to chew. Rats cause serious damage to buildings by chewing through walls, vinyl and wood, and they can cause electrical fires by chewing through wires.

If you don't have a positive sighting of a rat on the premises, its presence can be determined by the trail of droppings it leaves behind. Rat droppings are dark, oval pellets about a half to three-quarters of an inch long. Gnaw marks in and around plumbing pipes and brickwork are other indicators.

The most common types of rats are the Norway rat and the roof rat. Norway rats are capable of coming into buildings through sewer lines and gaining entrance to the house through the toilet. Roof rats run along electrical wires and gain access through the attic.

How to Remove Rats from Your Garage

Find out where the rats are. Look for a high density of droppings.

Bait your traps with peanut butter. Peanut butter is hard for rats to steal.

Set your traps. These rodents travel next to walls. Set traps so the trigger plate is adjacent to the garage wall. Be sure to set the traps out of the way of human traffic, as rat traps are significant and could break a finger. Consider the different kinds of traps that will work best for you. The classic snap trap with spring-loaded wire will kill the rat. Poison and poison pellets can be used but are a danger to children and pets. Also, the rat won't die instantly and may hide within the walls of your garage.

Plug all the holes on the exterior wall with mortar, caulking or metal mesh. Look for spaces of approximately half an inch between pipes and wires. Be sure to place adequate material to prevent the rat from chewing through. After plugging the hole, spray a stream of Tabasco sauce in the area to deter future visits.

Clean the area. Remove all sources of food. This includes any bird seed and dry pet food. Place them in airtight metal or heavy plastic containers. Remove any areas that rats can hide in such as trash, wood piles and old furniture.

Sweep and dispose of all rat droppings, as they may become "food" for other rats. Spray all areas with a disinfectant such as Dettol or PineSol.

Check and reset your traps weekly. If you have caught a rat, put on rubber gloves to remove and dispose of the dead animal and the trap.

Step 8

If an infestation is obvious, seek professional help from an exterminator.