Rats carry diseases and create unhealthy conditions. Hiring an exterminator is often the most practical solution. If you are looking for insider tips on how to exterminate the rats that have infested your home, there are professional solutions available. The most important step is to know what is attracting rats to your home. The next step is to install rat traps throughout the areas where rats live and travel the most. The final step is to deter reinfestation by removing all access the rats have to your home.

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Do not feed rats.

Identification

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Don't leave out pet drinking dishes for rats to drink from.

It is important to identify the source of your rat problem. A majority of rats that infest homes are burrowers. Check around your home and look for burrows or tunnels that rats have created either on the side of your house or underneath it. Rats also climb from trees onto the roof and enter in through the attic. Do not feed rats by giving them easy access to food and water. Rats will feed off pet food, bird seed and human food. If you have any sources of water left out—such as dripping faucets, buckets or flower pots with water residue or pet water dishes—rats will drink from them.

Extermination

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Adhesive rat traps are an alternative to standard rat traps.

Place rat traps strategically throughout your home, such as near water or food sources, underneath your home, near burrows, in the attic and under the roof. You can choose either a standard rat trap that breaks the rat's neck quickly and humanely or you adhesive traps. Adhesive traps merely stick the rat to the pad so it cannot escape but it does not kill the rat quickly. The rat will starve to death slowly and painfully unless you check the traps daily and kill the rat yourself. You can use thin metal sheets from the hardware store and nail them underneath roof eaves to place rat traps lined with peanut butter to trap rats before they enter into the attic. It is important to check and remove filled traps at least daily to avoid flies, maggots and of course the smell of dead bodies.

Prevention

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Standard rat traps kill rats instantly.

Once you have removed all rats living in your home, the next step is to make sure they don't come back. Rats can crawl through spaces that are half an inch in diameter, so invest in a hardware mesh wire with quarter-inch squares. Rats are good diggers so you need to place the mesh wire at least a foot into the ground to keep them from digging under it. Nail the mesh wire in any area where rats have come in before. Also, trim back any overhanging branches from neighboring trees that come into close contact to your house. The branches make excellent bridges to your house.