How To Detect And Deal With A Rat Infestation Naturally
Rats are a great example of the phrase ‘looks can be deceiving.’ With their beady little innocent eyes and tiny stature, they may seem benign and harmless, but I am sure every one of us has seen and experienced their ugly side at least once in our lives. Though they do make great pets when domesticated, the ones that come into your home without any invitation are not there to be your friend. The havoc that they can wreck is beyond scary as they are known to be responsible for spreading thirty-five diseases around the world either directly or indirectly. They can also cause structural damage to your home by digging holes that weaken the foundations, chewing through wires, blocking pipes, contaminating food, etc. So it is essential to detect them at an early stage before things get way out of hand. So here are five ways to detect a rat infestation at your home.
Detecting Rat infestation
Look for rat droppings and urine smell
I know, it sounds disgusting, but this is one of the most apparent signs and easily noticeable. Look for dark brown or black(when it’s dried) spindle-shaped bits on the floor or in cabinets. They can also be found near areas with access to drains like under the sink, washbasins, washing machines, etc. They are most likely to be in a concentrated bunch since rats usually produce 40 droppings a night. Rat’s urine also leaves behind a musky smell, which is very distinctive. So if it suddenly feels like you have a musky scent hanging around in a room, then you are probably sharing your home with rats.
Listen carefully for scratching noises
If you’re hearing creepy scratching noises or scuttling sounds in the dead of night, don’t panic thinking your house is haunted, it’s probably just rats, not that you need to be worried any less because you still got a severe problem. Rats are nocturnal and hence tend to be more active at night. They move around in search of food or materials for their nests and are probably busy at work in your attic or basement. So if you’re experiencing such things, then there’s an infestation.
Rats have incisors that never stop growing. If left unchecked, they’ll grow to a point where it becomes impossible for them to close their mouth. To prevent this, rats tend to gnaw at anything and everything that they come across and often chew through it. Some of their favorites are wood, plastic, food containers, etc. Approximately 25 percent of unexplained fires are caused by rats in the United States when they chew through gas lines. So look for gnaw marks on your belongings, especially on cables, wires, and furniture.
If you’ve experienced all of the above three things mentioned, then there’s a 100% possibility that your house is infested, but to be sure you can check for footprints by spreading a little cornflour at suspicious areas. If you have a dusty attic or basement, then they have already left behind footprints.
Look for nests
Rats use materials like shredded paper, cotton, soft fabric, etc. to make their nests. They are usually clumped together. So if you find something similar to other signs like droppings and gnaw marks, then there’s probably an infestation in your home.
Dealing With An Infestation
The most convenient way of dealing with a rodent infestation would be to call pest control or use your chemical-laden pest repeller. Though this might solve the issue effectively in most cases, it’ll also leave your house loaded with toxic chemicals from the pest repeller. This might do more harm than good in the form of respiratory illnesses and is also not children or pet friendly. Hence it is better to look at more natural alternatives that are equally effective, and here are a few to begin with.
Peppermint oil and cayenne pepper
Rats have a highly sensitive nose, which makes it hard for them to be around strong scents. Such scents like peppermint oil and cayenne pepper make excellent eco-friendly rat repellents. All that you need to do is to take some cotton balls and soak them in peppermint oil or ground peppers for some time and leave them in areas where you’ve had problems with mice.
The smell of ammonia strongly resembles the scent of a predator’s urine. Most of your household cleaning agents are composed of ammonia, so this method child and pet safe and also eco friendly. To use this natural pet repeller, mix it with 200ml of water and 2-3 spoons of detergent and spray or mop the areas where you think rats are prowling.
Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
An ultrasonic pest repeller is a plug-in device that emits ultrasonic sound waves that are harmless and inaudible to us humans, but it can drive rodents mad. It is eco friendly and also child and pet safe. Ultrasonic pest repellers have also proven to be quite effective against other household pests like flies, mosquitoes, moths,etc., making this unique multipurpose pest repeller a must-have for all homes.