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The first and best option you have is to contact a wildlife removal professional to help you with your problem. A rat control specialist will know how to tackle the situation so that rats are eliminated efficiently and permanently from your home. Beware of your common local exterminator or pest control company, as they will probably approach the problem with poison, which is never a good idea. Discuss removal options with the person you’re thinking of hiring, and don’t employ them unless you’re totally convinced that they will handle the issue in the right manner. If you’re looking for good wildlife removal services, go on my online directory of experts and click on your state.
If you would like to take care of the problem yourself, you will basically have to do exactly what a wildlife pro would do in this situation.
Inspect the building in its entirety. Rats are getting in your attic through somewhere, and that somewhere could be multiple access points, even from underneath your house, passing through walls and then reaching the attic. Make sure you’ve identified all the points that offer passage to the rats. Get busy with learning about rat behavior and rat biology in order to be able to recognize the various signs that will lead to their points of entry and exit. Be sure you thoroughly inspect the roof from the outside and the attic from the inside – they’re usually getting in through the roof.
Seal shut all entry points. Before you start trapping the rats, make sure all access point are sealed with metal flashings. Aluminum flashings are the best. And no, you can’t use wood or plastic –rats could easily chew through those. Leave one main entry hole opened if you’re planning on trapping the rats via live exclusion, but know that wildlife experts don’t really use these types of traps for rats.
Kill and dispose of the rats with wooden snap traps. Buy about a dozen classic Victor snap traps – you want to be efficient and be done with the trapping as soon as possible. Remember all that learning you did on rat biology and behavior? Time to put some of it in practice. Set the traps correctly for 100% success rate. I’ve written more about trap setting in the attic, so you can get all that information here, too. Check the traps about every 8 hours. Dispose of the dead rats in sealed plastic containers or bags.
Cleanup after the rats. Decontamination is most important. It will help with avoiding disease, and it will prevent other animals from being attracted to your attic. Cleanup requires protective gear, from gloves, to facemask, to full biohazard suit. Don’t mess around with your health by doing a half job on decontamination. Vacuum droppings and nest debris. Replace soiled insulation. Further decontaminate by spraying the attic with a good odor eliminator product that will kill bacteria and neutralize remaining organic matter. Use an electric fogging machine to spraying. A spray bottle or container can also do the job if you’re persistent and through.
Don’t forget that rats had a reason for nesting in your attic – try and not give them that reason again. Access is supposedly already handled, so make sure there is no available food sources for them on your property. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.