Rats are annoying pests and having them around chewing on everything that comes along their way is not pleasing at all. In addition to that, they are disease carriers which simply means they pose a health threat to you and your family. Rats are mammals in the rodentia family and their color varies depending with the species. This has made people cautious in the way they handle rats and find ways to get rid of them out of their homes and out of their lives. The ultimate guide to control traps entails all you need to know about this tiny rodents and make your home a safe haven to live in


Characteristics of rats

Rats have a spectacular hearing sense and will always react to any kind of sudden movements even the softest of noise will get them high and running. Being rodents only makes matters worse and since they need to keep their sharp incisors growing, they’re always gnawing on everything always causing damage on wood, electric wires, plastics, lead pipes etc. and contaminating food substances. They’re nocturnal, have well-developed smell, taste and touch senses, and the true rats common to humans are the black and brown rat.

Difference between rats and mice

A rat and a Mouse

Ever seen a pesky little rodent run across your living room and you’re left wondering what that is. Rats closely resemble their brothers the mice however, they have difference which will help you distinguish which is which. Rats are far much bigger in size compared to mice whether adults or their offspring. Therefore, when people tend to see large rodents running around they say it’s a rat and if smaller in size, it’s a mouse. Rats also weigh more than mice and the rat’s tail is thicker than that of the mice. In terms of body structure, the head of the rat is short, broad, stubby and relatively large compared to the body while the ears are smaller. On the other hand, the head of a mouse is small, triangular-like and smaller compared to the body while the ears are larger.

Read more here Difference between rat and mouse

The Life Cycle Of Rats

Rats reproduce internally. They’re highly reproductive which best explains their large population numbers and the female rat will give birth to 6-10 rats at one go. The baby rats are born after a gestation period of 21 days and in 2 or 3 months later, the rats are ready to mate and produce their own offspring as well. The average life cycle of rats is 9-18 months while its average life span will depend on its habitat and in case of the urban areas, how soon they will be identified and killed by a rat trap or some rat poison.

Find out more on The life cycle of a rat

Signs Of Rat Infestation In Houses

The most common sign of a rat infestation is seeing the rat itself, dead or alive. If there’s a low level of rat infestation, it can prove hard to be assured that they really exist inside your house. Rats like living in a spacious area and if they get such a place, will be hard to note you have an infestation. However, when space is limited, they’ll be forced out to in the open trying to find new hideouts. Rat droppings is another visible sign of a rat infestation as well as dirt or grease marks along walls and floors where they have infested. Finally if you spot some damaged wood, wires or plastics and there are holes and teeth marks left behind, they may also indicate a rat infestation. If you suspect that your house might have rats living in it but you can’t find this common signs, examine your house for rat tracks. Rats tend to move along the same path hence you can spot their tracks or otherwise find their nests in attics, lofts or other dark areas.

How To Get Rid Of Rats

  • Smell of organic materials such as onions, eucalyptus, pepper, citronella, mint and peppermint deter rats and drives them away.
  • You can either use them as they are naturally, their oils or make solutions for application on the infested areas.
  • When using onions, slice the onions into equal sizes then place them in areas where the rats are hiding out near their nests.
  • If using peppermint or eucalyptus oil, dip some cotton wools in the oil then place them in the rat infested areas around your house and outside, if the rats also lurk around there.
  • Alternatively apply the oils around the rat holes and don’t spare, instead apply as much as you can.
  • As for pepper, crush some pepper using pestle and mortar then sprinkle around the corners and rats nests and other areas where they might be living inside the house.
  • If the rats are outside your house within the yard, plant some repellent plants such as mint, peppermint, tansy, etc.

What is the best bait for a rat trap?

Rat traps are also an effective method to apply when getting rid of rats and has proven very effective over the years. However, for the trap to work, you need to have an effective bait to work along with the trap. If dealing with rats, cheese, peanut butter, cereals, bacon, chocolate baits will work well to lure the rats towards the trap. To make the bait lethal, you can apply some boric acid.

Find out more on best bait for rat traps

How To Kill Rats Using Rat Traps

  • Rat traps are very effective in killing this annoying pesky rodents. If dealing with a large level of rat infestation, use more than one trap to capture the rats.
  • First thing first, ensure you seal off any rat entry points to avoid new rats coming into your house and you’ll be rat trapping for God knows how long.
  • Place the rat traps near the nests and in areas where they have already caused damage as well as in dark areas where they’re likely to be.
  • You can either use glue traps or snare traps to capture the rats.
  • Set the traps separately about 15 or 20 feet away from each and strategically place them around corners and along walls since rats will always ran along the walls to avoid being detected.
  • Since rats will shy away from new objects, consider setting the trap without a bait for several days so that they get used to them.
  • Place the bait on the situated position on the trap and set the trigger in a way that it will automatically close when the rat is feeding on the bait
  • Monitor the traps regularly and properly dispose any dead rats on the traps by wrapping the dead bodies in a plastic bag and throwing it out in the trash can.
  • Instead of disposing the rats in a trash can, you can also bury them deep in the ground.
  • Since rats are disease carriers, use gloves to dispose them to avoid getting infected when handling the dead trapped rats.
  • Wash your hands after disposing off the rats. If using glue traps, do not reuse them and you should dispose them along with the dead rats. In case of the snap traps, clean them up and reuse them to catch more rats.

DIY Rat Trap

There’s always an alternative to buying ready-made rat traps. This is making one yourself and using available household materials. The most common homemade rat trap is made by using recyclable plastic bottles

Find a large water or soda bottle, scissors to cut the bottle, a craft knife and tape as the requirements for making the trap. Construct the unit step by step starting with cutting the bottle to assembling the parts all together and forming a non-return exit point.
Here is a easy way to make a trap for rat

If you want a ready made Rat cage from amazon ? You can try this

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