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Deterring Rats The Easy Way In Southern Maine

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Deterring Rats The Easy Way In Southern Maine

There is nothing easy about deterring rats, but the methods that effectively deter them are things you're probably already doing. The secret is to apply a little more elbow grease. So, while not particularly easy, you're not going to have to learn things you don't already know. Another way these deterrents are easy is that you don't have to keep checking on them. You do the work and put it out of your mind. Rat control products require monitoring, clean-up, and specialized knowledge to deploy them correctly. The worst part about applying control products is that when they fail, you may not realize it. This will allow rats to continue to impact your health and damage your property. There are also undesirable outcomes to improper rat control, like having dead rats inside your walls. Sorry. It is gross to think about, but not knowing that improper baiting can lead to this issue could have you dealing with it up close and personal.

It is always best to have a licensed professional deploy bait, traps, and other control products. Our goal today is to equip you with ways to address rats without using products that can fail to address your problem. Join us as we look at how to uncover a rat infestation, how to deter them with natural methods, and what professionals do to keep rats away. If you have a rat problem and need immediate help, jump to our contact page for rat pest control in Southern ME. You don't have to read an article about rat control to find an answer to your problem. 

Typical Rat Hiding Spots

There are many places rats will hide in your yard before they get into your home. Removing these hiding places or blocking access to them can deter rat activity and potentially prevent an infestation. You may already address some of these hiding spots as you take care of yard work and structural repairs. Let's start with these.

  • Remove yard clutter. Rats can hide in certain items that sit in your backyard. They also use yard clutter to help them navigate. Rats have poor eyesight and use their whiskers as one of the ways they explore the areas they encounter. An open yard with zero clutter will feel intimidating to a rat. 
  • Trim landscaping. Rats like dense vegetation. We recommend removing weeds, unwanted grass, and other unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping. It is also essential to trim bushes and shrubs.  
  • Remove leaves and organic debris. A rat can hide in a pile of leaves or work its way underneath organic debris. They also use these materials to help them navigate.
  • Repair your shed. A common hiding place for rats is inside shed walls. Inspect your shed and make repairs if you can. You may also use expanding foam to seal openings or voids. While rats can chew through this material, they may not try. They are inclined to make small holes larger. 
  • Seal your crawl space. If you have a crawl space under your home, you can bet that Norway rats will want to get into this space. They create ground burrows and a crawl space is a perfect location to nest when entering and exiting homes. Repair any holes or gaps that allow entry into your crawl space.
  • Seal your cellar doors. If you have cellar doors that lead down into a cellar or basement, inspect the bottom where the two doors meet. This is a common entry point for rats. 

You will tackle many of these jobs as you maintain your home and property. Now, here are some hiding places you may never address with yard work and routine repairs.

  • Firewood. Rats love wood. They'll get into voids inside a stack or pile of wood.
  • Construction materials. When you stack plywood, studs, trusses, and other construction materials in your yard, rats get into them.
  • Piles of junk. Norway rats like to establish burrows underneath piles of junk. Any junk will do. 
  • Pallets. If you pile things on pallets, they can still attract rats. Wood pallets underneath lots of items will provide small voids for rats to hide inside.
  • Block access to structural voids. The void underneath your shed, back deck, or exterior stairs can provide a nesting site for rats. Use fencing material or hardware cloth to keep rats out.

It isn't easy to stay on top of yard work, home repairs, and the work needed to remove hiding places rats use, but there is value in doing this hard work. The primary reason rats get into homes is that they first have a reason to come into yards. 

How To Have A Rat-Free Home Without Harming Them

In the last section, we focus on reducing rat activity. While the tips provided will help you maintain a rat-free home, they don't directly work to keep rats out. When conditions in your yard are difficult to control, or rat pressures are unusually high, you'll need these tips to keep relentless rats out of your home.

Seal Potential Entry Points: Rats can chew a hole in your home and climb right in. But most of the time they don't do this. Rats take advantage of holes or gaps that already exist. Find these and seal them to keep rats out of your home.

  • Fill in gaps around pipes.
  • Fill in gaps around wire conduits.
  • Fill in voids behind sill plates.
  • Seal window and door frames.
  • Replace window screens, weatherstripping, and door sweeps as needed.
  • Repair foundation cracks.

It only takes a tiny hole to allow these big rodents into your home. A full-grown rodent can fit through a hole the size of a quarter. If the holes are smaller, they have strong teeth to enlarge them.

Block Off Routes: Some potential entry points are on your roof. As you work to keep rats out, you'll need to consider routes they'll use to get onto your roof. Here are our best suggestions.

  • Cut tree branches that are near your roofline. Keep in mind that rats can jump several feet horizontally.
  • Install protective cones on pipes or conduits that run up the side of your home. These upside-down cones stop rats as they scale pipes and conduits.
  • Put wire mesh in your downspouts to prevent rats from working their way up through your gutter system.
  • Apply something prickly to points where utility wires attach to your roofline. Rats can run across wires in the same way squirrels do. You don't usually see them doing this because rats are nocturnal animals. Squirrels are active during the day. 

Be careful when you tackle some of these tips. Climbing ladders is hazardous.

Remove Food Sources: Hiding places and clutter aren't the only attractants that increase rat activity. You'll have more rats if you provide food sources for the rats to eat. Here are some suggestions to directly control rats by addressing food options near your home.

  • Cover trash receptacles. Rats can climb and jump into trash receptacles. Covers keep them out.  
  • Clean trash receptacles. The scent of garbage attracts rodents and will lure them into your yard.
  • Remove bird feeders or move them well away from your exterior walls. Seeds are a sought-after food source for rats, mice, squirrels, and other animals.
  • Pick up nuts and fruit. Rats love nuts and fruits as much as squirrels. Rake these up and store them well away from your exterior.

When you apply yourself to sealing entry points, removing routes, and addressing food sources, you can find satisfaction that your efforts will have a long-lasting impact on rats. You're not going to have to tackle most of these tasks more than once every few years. The exception is nut and fruit clean-up, but keep in mind that doing this will deter a long list of pests, not just rats.

The Easiest Way To Deter Rats

There is no easier way to deter rats than to lay down traps or bait. Unfortunately, these products can fail or have undesirable consequences, as we already mentioned. So, while definitely easy, they're not likely to achieve the results you want. They are also not a complete solution. Trapping and baiting reduce the number of rodents; they don't keep rodents out of your home. When you hire Big Blue Bug Solutions, we tackle the exclusion work needed to stop rodents and also deploy control products properly to get rid of rats and keep them away. If you get a contractor to deal with trimming tree branches and dealing with conditions in your yard that promote rat activity, you'll have a complete solution. Let's look at how this works over time.  

Total Rat Control For Residents Of Southern Maine

Rats are going to keep coming into your yard. Routine service visits from Big Blue Bug Solutions will provide your property with ongoing management of rodent pressures and we will make recommendations for correcting troublespots. If rats find their way inside, you'll have fast access to a rodent control professional who knows your home, family, and specific needs.

We have more than 80 years of experience dealing with household pests. You can trust the team at Big Blue Bug Solutions to provide you with the best solutions for ongoing rodents and general pest control. Connect with us today for service. We're here to help.

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