5 Ways: How to Get Rid of Roof Rats in Walls

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Roof rats are pests that can cause a number of problems for homeowners. These creatures can cause damage to furniture and walls, and even carry several diseases which can be hazardous to your health. One of the most obvious signs of roof rats is that they tend to make squeaking noises in the walls which can be annoying and frustrating. 

So what are the ways to get rid of roof rats in walls? To effectively eliminate these pests, you can try the following methods:

  1. Sanitize
  2. Use rodent repellents
  3. Set up traps
  4. Seal your property
  5. Check for remaining signs of rats

How to Get Rid of Roof Rats in Walls

Getting rid of roof rats in walls is trickier because it’s an area of the house that’s more difficult to reach. Fortunately, there are different ways to eliminate the pests including the following: 

1. Sanitize

One of the best ways to eliminate roof rats in walls to sanitize the area. This includes thoroughly cleaning the entire property and removing anything that provides them with the things they need to survive. It’s important to use the proper cleaning methods so you can effectively remove the pests. Here are some tips on how to sanitize properly:

  • Store food and water properly: When you make food and water easily accessible for rodents, they’re more likely to stay and breed in your home. These rodents are attracted to several kinds of food like nuts, fruits, grains, seeds, sweet and salty snacks, meat, and pet food. You have to store food and water properly to prevent them from having access to these sources.
    Rats have sharp teeth that can gnaw through food packaging, so it’s better to transfer food in airtight containers, glass jars, or metal containers. You should also make it a habit to empty out any bowls or glasses of water so that the pests don’t use them as water sources.
  • Clear clutter and nesting sources: Rodents love clutter since it has the warmth they need for nesting and burrowing. Check the area for any places where clutter has accumulated, and regularly throw out things that you don’t need anymore. This includes any stacks of paper, cardboard boxes that are stored in the attic or the basement. It’s also best to store items in heavy duty plastic boxes so that rats won’t be able to chew through.
    Aside from paper and cardboard, rats also love chewing and gnawing on electrical wires. This can ignite a fire when the wire is exposed, so make sure that you don’t have any unorganized electrical wires in the area.
  • Throw away garbage correctly: Rats tend to go through garbage and look for food. Unlike mice, rats eat almost anything, including the trash you throw away. To ensure that the rodents don’t rummage through your garbage, check if your garbage bin is properly covered and replace the garbage bin once it starts to have any holes or cracks. 
  • Maintain your garden: Your garden can also serve as an invitation for rats to find shelter in your home. These rodents can feed on any fruits or vegetables growing in the garden, so it’s best to harvest these immediately. You should also regularly trim tree limbs or long grass to reduce accessibility to indoor spaces. Any bird feeders can attract mice to the garden as well, so sweep or pick up any bird seeds that fall to the ground.
  • Use proper cleaning products: When faced with a heavy infestation, rodents usually leave urine pillars which help them navigate around your house. Urine pillars build up over time and can be difficult to clean so using the proper cleaning products is essential in eliminating them. To clean up after rodents, the CDC recommends using a commercial disinfectant or a homemade bleach solution.

2. Use Rodent Repellents

Another affordable yet effective method to eliminate roof rats is to use rodent repellents. These products are widely available on the market and you can even make some homemade rodent repellents with household items. Place the following repellents near walls, attics, basements, and around your home to keep the rodents away:

  • Ingredients with pungent odors: Your kitchen provides you with a selection of rodent repellents. Rats have a strong sense of smell, so they tend to avoid food with pungent odors like onions, tabasco sauce, garlic, and pepper.
  • Household items with strong scents: Since rats have a strong sense of smell, any household items can also help with an infestation. Peppermint oil, citronella oil, and ammonia are some of the items you can use to deter rats. Soak a cotton ball in these items and place it near walls and areas with high rodent activity. You can also dilute these items in water and transfer the solution into a spray bottle to create a homemade rodent repellent spray.
  • Commercial repellents: Commercial repellents are widely available on the market, so you can either buy it from the store or purchase them online. These products are usually made with chemicals and poison, so it’s important to be careful when handling them to avoid any unwanted accidents. You can also choose to use electronic rodent repellents which are plugged in to emit an ultrasonic that rats find annoying.

3. Set Up Traps

Setting up traps is another popular method to eliminate rodents because it’s quick, easy, and affordable. Traps come in different kinds like snap traps, glue boards, and electronic traps. But before using traps, there are a few things you have to learn to make it more effective:

  • Use an effective bait: Though rats feed on almost anything, there are other kinds of food they prefer over others. Peanut butter, fruit, grains, and seeds make your trap more enticing and effective. When food doesn’t work, you can place nesting materials like cotton, yarn, shredded paper, or dental floss.
  • Put on gloves before handling bait: It’s important to never handle bait with bare hands because doing this can “contaminate” its scent. Rats view humans as predators and tend to avoid food that smells like humans. Remember to put on gloves before handling bait to make it more attractive for the rodents.
  • Place traps strategically: Rats are smart creatures and tend to avoid foreign objects placed their way. You can “outsmart” the rodents by initially placing unset traps for a couple of days to familiarize them with the device and make them think that it’s safe. And since you’re trying to get rid of rats in walls, place the traps perpendicular to the walls so that they can’t avoid them. It’s also recommended to use a variety of traps and baits and then assess which kinds work the best. 

4. Seal Your Property

To prevent rats from going indoors, you should seal the home with strong and tough materials that rodents can’t chew through. Rats make their way inside your home through small gaps and holes. You can seal the property with the following materials:

  • Caulk and steel wool: Caulk and steel wool won’t effectively seal any holes when used separately. But when combined, it creates a great compound that seals and smooths out almost any surface so that rats can’t chew or gnaw. 
  • Sturdy materials: Sturdy materials like glass, metal, strong concrete, and hard plastic can block out the rodents as well. You can buy these materials at hardware stores or use scraps lying around your home.
  • Wire mesh: Wire mesh or sheet metal is great for sealing larger areas like doors and windows. This allows air to circulate indoors while keeping the rats away from your homes. 

5. Check for Remaining Signs of Rats

Once you’ve tried eliminating rats using the methods stated above, you should check for remaining signs of the rodents in your home. A great way to confirm whether there you’ve eliminated all the rats is to do a flour test. To do this, sprinkle some flour or powder near the walls and around the home then check for any marks or rat footprints after a few days. If there are any marks or rat footprints on the flour, then this is a sign that there are still rats in the property. 

Another way to determine whether there are still rats in your home is to look at your pet’s behavior. If you have a dog or a cat at home, they usually exhibit weir behavior when they see the pests. Your pets can create weird sounds or look like they are chasing something if there are rodents running round.   

How to Identify a Roof Rat

It’s easy to confuse a roof rat from the Norway rat or the house mice due to their similarities. However, learning about their specific differences to your advantage to create smarter strategies to eliminate the pests. To identify a roof rat, you can look at the following characteristics:

1. Physical Appearance

Compared to Norway rats, roof rats have black fur and a pointed nose with a scaly tail. A distinct difference between the two is that they are smaller in size. An adult roof rat’s body measures around 6-8 inches long and can measure upto 18 inches long with their tails. A roof rat also has scaly tails and their tails are noticeably longer than their bodies. 

2. Sounds and Behavior

Roof rats tend to live in higher areas, that’s why you commonly hear noises in the attic when you have an infestation. They also find shelter in ceilings, sheetrock, cabinets, and inside walls. When they’re outdoors, this species finds shelter under wood piles and dense vegetation. 

Compared to Norway rats, these creatures climb around utility lines and tree limbs to travel around and find their way indoors. They’re also able to infest houses through swimming in pipes and gnawing through different materials. When it comes to their diet, roof rats prefer eating nuts, seeds, and fruits compared to other species. 

3. Urine and Droppings

Droppings from roof rats are soft and moist when they’re fresh, but dries up over time. It measures around one and half inches and has pointed ends. Their urine often looks like thin spots or streaks with tails marks dragging through them. 

Eliminate Roof Rats at Pinnacle Pest Control

The best solution to effectively eliminate roof rats in your property is to call for professional pest control. Pinnacle Pest Control provides excellent pest control services to all our clients in Northern California. Our team is equipped with extensive knowledge and the latest technology to eliminate roof rats both indoors and outdoors. 

We have technicians and experts who thoroughly inspect your property for anything that invites the pests inside. Our team treats your property like it’s our own to provide you with the best solutions to the problem. Learn more about Pinnacle Pest Control and our services when you call us at one of our offices today. 

Read more: What is the Difference Between Squirrels and Rats?

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