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How to Kill Rats in the Attic

rat kill

07.28.2005 - If you have rats in the attic, you want to solve the problem! Rats chew on wires, make a lot of noise running around and scratching, and can spread disease. Once they've infested a home, the problem doesn't go away until properly solved. You do want to kill the rats in the attic to solve the problem, but that's only a part of an overall solution.

There are many ways to solve a rat problem, but over the years and with many different experiments, I've determined the best way to solve the problem permanently. You don't want to simply kill the rats. That will not solve your problem. You need to first stop the rats at the source. You need to find out how the rats are getting into the house or attic in the first place. That means finding every single last spot that rats use to enter a home. Vents, pipes, eave gaps, architectural gaps of all kinds, missing screens, abandoned chimneys, ground vents, loose siding, etc. If it's about the size of a quarter, a fully-sized adult rat can get in. All of these areas must be sealed permanently, with steel that rats can't chew through. THEN you can solve the problem by killing any remaining rats that are inside.

Most of the time, there aren't too many rats in the attic. There's usually only a few inside. In the case of this particular house, I removed 16 total, including several very large adults, as you can see in the above photo. This is fairly abnormal. However, this home had a heavy rat infestation. Normally I set the traps and return in three days to remove the trapped rats. I then reset the traps to see if there's any more. However, in the case of this house, with the high number of large rats and the hot July sun, the house started to smell very badly in just one day, so I came out right away and saw all of these rats. I lined them up for the above photo. I hadn't set enough traps, so I set a dozen more, and got the remaining rats in three more day's time.

The best way to kill rats is with snap traps, such as seen above. Can you imagine if I'd used poison? These rats would have died in the attic (no, they don't go outside to die, that's a myth), and they would have smelled HORRIBLE. The house would have been unlivable. Poison is a dumb way to kill rats, because it never fully solves the problem. New rats will come in. Plus some rats won't die, and won't eat the poison again. Plus the stinky rat carcasses. If you kill the rats with traps, you are sure to get them and remove them. But either way, you must seal the entry holes shut so that no more rats can come in again. If you don't seal the entry points, there's no point in killing rats. New ones will just replace the old ones, and it's inhumane to keep poisoning and killing forever.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Rats page for tips and advice.
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