How to Get Rid of Rats Humanely

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Vermin can be a problem to any homeowner. They can be difficult to eradicate, but there are several humane methods that you could try to get rid of rats and avoid future problems.

Things You'll Need

  • Rat traps
  • Bait

How to Get Rid of Rats Humanely

  • Determine and identify if you have rats or mice. Knowing what you are trying to eradicate is important. You can check the droppings to differentiate the two animals. Larger droppings, three-quarters of an inch, are rat droppings while smaller (one-quarter inch) droppings are for mice. Make sure they are recent droppings. Old droppings are gray and dry, while new droppings look moist and are darker. Look where food is stored or behind boxes and furniture.

  • Buy traps. You can buy one of several types of traps. There are caged traps where you can release the rat in an open field or you can buy a trap that humanely zaps the rat with an electrical shock. Avoid the spring loaded traps and poison or glue traps.

  • Place and bait traps. You can place the traps where you discovered the droppings or where food is stored. Keep them out of reach of children and in places where they will not be interfered with. Bait the traps with sticky food as it is more difficult for the rats to remove. Peanut butter is a good bait to use. Rats are intelligent, so they may be wary of the traps themselves. You can try baiting the traps, but don't set them the first day or two. Check the trap to see if the rats have taken the bait. After a few days, once the rats become comfortable taking the bait, set the trap.

  • Remove the rats once trapped. Check the traps daily. Once you have captured the rat or rats take them to a place where they will not be able to re-enter your house or another building. Open fields are ideal places to release them.

  • Rat prevention is the best method for controlling rats. Inspect your home for cracks or holes in vents or in the foundation and repair them. Keep all food covered and sealed and do not accumulate trash. Try to keep all trash in covered containers and remove regularly. Also keep all weeds and grass mowed as the vermin enjoy the protection and comfort of the tall shrubs.

Tips & Warnings

  • Rats have a keen sense of smell so make sure you wash your hands or wear gloves when you bait the traps.
  • Be careful when releasing the rats as some carry diseases.

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