Pack rats, also known as woodrats, are a common pest in North America. They can enter your home at any time, but they are most likely to invade during the colder months. These rodents can cause a lot of damage, both structurally and financially. In this guide, we will provide 7 tips to help you get rid of pack rats and prevent them from coming back!
Tip 1: Understand Why Pack Rat Infestations Happen
Pack rats are attracted to homes for a number of reasons. They may be looking for food, shelter, or a place to build their nest. When a home is filled with food waste, trash, or is cluttered, it can be a more hospitable environment for rats and mice alike.
Pack rats, as the name suggests, love tight spaces with lots of places to hide. If your home has any cracks or holes, they will likely find their way inside. Once they are in, they can be very difficult to get rid of.
Tip 2: Identify Where the Pack Rat Infestation is Coming From
The first step is to identify the entry points that the pack rats are using to get into your home. This can be difficult, as these rodents are small and good at hiding. Thoroughly check every nook and cranny inside your home, especially in places low to the ground like basements or near gardens or porches. Search the perimeter of the outside of your home, looking especially at the foundation for any cracks or possible entry points larger than 3 inches across. Young rats and mice can get into even the tiniest of holes!
Tip 3: Make Repairs and Seal Off Entry Points
Once you have found the entry points, seal them up with steel wool and/or caulk, depending on the size and location. Steel wool can be useful to fill up deep crevices, as rats and other pests have no way to chew through it. After using steel wool to fill a hole, sand it down and seal it with caulk.
If you've been experiencing an infestation for some time, there are a few important ways to repair damage caused by pack rats:
Tip 4: Get rid of food and water sources
A major reason why pack rats enter homes is to find food and water. These rodents are attracted to any kind of food, but they especially like sweets, fruits, nuts, and bagged flour or corn that can be gotten to easily.
Store all food in airtight containers and keep your counters and floors clean of crumbs. In addition, get rid of any standing water sources like leaky pipes or faucets. Be sure to sweep and mop floors regularly, and if you have pets, make sure the areas around their food dishes are especially clean.
Tip 5: How to Get Rid of Pack Rats with Traps
If you have already found pack rats in your home, the next step is to remove them. This can be done with a number of different traps, such as snap traps or live traps. You will need to set the trap and check it regularly, as dead rats can attract other pests, such as flies. Once the trap has caught a rat, release it far away from your home to prevent it from coming back.
Snap traps are the traditional trap that you might imagine if you were to describe a common rat trap. They snap onto the rat after they press upon the baited pressure plate, usually killing the rat instantly. While the snap trap is a classic in the pest control world, you may be feeling a tad more merciful. Live traps can capture the rat (usually) unharmed, so you can move it to a safe location far away from your home. However, be mindful of local laws regarding the movement of pests, as it is illegal to move certain pests to new locations as opposed to disposing of them.
Tip 6: Cleaning Up After Removing Pack Rats
After you have removed the pack rats from your home, you will need to clean up any droppings or nesting materials that they have left behind. This can help to prevent diseases from spreading. You should also repair any damage that the rodents have caused, such as gnawed wires or insulation.
Avoid touching rat droppings directly, as the particles can get into your system through airborne residue if your hands get too close to your face. Use a face mask and gloves when available. Sterilize the area with disinfectant wipes, especially if it's in your kitchen or where food is stored.
Tip 7: Preventing Pack Rat Infestations
Prevention is the best method for dealing with pack rats. To prevent them from entering your home in the first place, you should keep your home clean and free of clutter. You should also trim back any trees or bushes that are close to your home, as these can provide a way for the rodents to get inside.
Keep a vigilant eye out for any rat droppings, chewed wires, or loose insulation in your basement or attic. These are telltale signs that there are rodents afoot. If you have a cat (or have access to a cat), allow them to occasionally patrol potential problem areas. If you see them acting unusually excited with chatty meows or fluffed up tails, then you can bet you might have a potential pest problem.
When all else fails, Zunex Pest Control is here to help you with all of your rat removal needs. Servicing the greater Puget Sound area, we can handle any common pest in homes or commercial areas. Contact us today for a free quote. Happy hunting!