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Oh, Rats! Battling Pest Infestation

Oh, Rats! Battling Pest Infestation By Laura Horwitz
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

Imagine the nightmare. You're lying awake in bed in the middle of the night, listening to that terrifying scratching noise with a trembling heart--no, it's not a burglar, it's not a ghost, it's something even worse: rats!

If you discover rats in your home, you need to take instant action. Rats can carry deadly diseases and an infestation should never be treated lightly.

To prevent a rat infestation in the first place:
  • Cover openings to your home, such as the fireplace or vents, with thick hardware cloth--a thick material through which rats can't chew.
  • Check the foundation of your home and seal any tiny openings through which rodents could enter. Shove copper mesh or hardware cloth into the hole and then fill the gap with expanding foam. Remember these creatures can squeeze through openings the size of a quarter.
  • Put tight weather stripping on the bottom of exterior doors.

If prevention fails, then you need to eliminate the problem:
  • Traps work better than poisoned bait. If you simply poison the rat, there's no telling where it might crawl to die--and you might be stuck with a horrendous stench coming from a vent you can't reach.
  • Always wear gloves when handling traps. This isn't just to avoid catching potential diseases the rat might be carrying, but if you don't use gloves when setting up the trap, rats smell the "human scent" and avoid it altogether.
  • To tempt rats into a trap, try peanut butter. They love it.

If the rat problem persists, or if you have a serious infestation, then you need to call an exterminator who can advise you on the best prevention methods for your property to keep rats away in the future. 

About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have also appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.



*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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