Rats cause extensive damage to your home and are a considerable threat to your health. They gnaw through walls and wires, spread disease, and make everyone’s skin crawl. If you think you might have rats, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Determine if you have rats

Learn to identify rat problem areas. Look for holes in baseboards, cabinets as well as other dark areas, and near water sources. Even adult rats only need an opening smaller than a quarter to enter.

Find the rat droppings, and you have found the main congregation area. Typical spots are under sinks, near pet food, garbage, and woodpiles.

If you have seen a rat scurrying in, around, or anywhere near your dwelling, chances are it has already sampled the comforts of your home – and it probably wasn’t alone.

Make your home less hospitable to rodents

  • Plug holes with steel wool and seal with spray foam.
  • Seal leftovers in plastic containers and refrigerate.
  • Store pet food in large, lockable plastic containers.
  • Keep floors clean and free of debris; the more open your floor is, the less likely rats will hang out.

Caution when handling

Always wear gloves and a face mask when cleaning up rat droppings or a carcass as inhaling dust from either can cause serious illness. Disinfect any area where you have seen a rat, dropping, or carcass to prevent the spread of disease.

What Norway rats don’t want you to know

As with all rats in general, Norway rats have excellent memories. This means, they will remember any successful route to food and water after the first time they complete it. Basically, once they find a way in to your home, they won’t forget it.

Rats are extremely social, and even get depressed without companionship. This is good news and bad news for homeowners. The good news is that their mischief (the real word for a group of rats) is their demise; it’s easier to kill the lot of them since they’ll be congregating for the most part. The bad news is, a rat infestation is never the work of one rat, but the work of many.

If you take matters into your own hands

Should you decide to take on a rodent invasion on your own, there are few things you should know. First, if you set traps, make certain they are placed where children and pets can’t get to them. Second, glue traps are more effective for younger rats and mice, as a full-grown rat can easily escape. And third, leave the poisoning to the professionals as it causes rats to hide in places like your home and yard to die, which will create a horrid odor later on. Additionally, your pets (or your children) could possibly ingest the poisoned rat which is more often than not, fatal.


If you think you may have rats, you probably do. It is important to take action immediately by making your home less hospitable to them, and using caution if you have to handle them or their droppings. By understanding their behavior, and observing necessary precautionary measures if you take matters into your own hands, you can help to protect your home – and most importantly, your children and pets.

While it is possible to get rid of rats on your own, it truly is best to consult a professional.

Miller Pest & Termite recognizes that all homes and infestations are different; we will customize a plan for your particular situation and get rid of these dangerous pests quickly. Contact us today to learn more about how we can rid your home of rats as well as other pests; and prevent further infestations