How to Get Rid of Burrowing Rats


Rats cause much damage to homes and typically burrow under the house and around in the crawl space. There are two types of rats that are most commonly found in homes. One type is the brown rat, also known as the Norway rat, common rat and wharf rat. The other type of rat is the roof rat, also known as the black rat, ship rat and house rat. Most rats prefer to stay close to the ground, so while it isn't rare to have rats in the attic, it is more common to hear them underneath the floor boards. The most effective way to get rid of rats is not through poisonous rat pellets, but through the traditional rat traps.

Things You'll Need

  • Series of rat snap traps
  • Apple chunks or cheese squares
  • Clothes that cover the entire body
  • Face mask
  • Goggles
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Black light
  • Heavy duty trash bags

Killing the Rats

  • Put on clothes, face mask, goggles and gloves.

  • Bag up apple chunks or cheese squares and snap traps.

  • Holding the bag, crawl under the house into the crawl space, or go into the attic.

  • Set the traps using the holding mechanism to hold down the wire on one end, and place bait in the traps. If you see an entrance to a burrow, put a few apple or cheese chunks there to entice the rats to come out.

  • Place the traps in strategic locations for the most rat traffic.

  • Crawl out from under the house or the attic and wait until the rat traps stop snapping shut.

  • Repeat twice a week as necessary.

Clean Up

  • Wear the protective clothing, including face mask, goggles and gloves

  • Use the black light to find spots on insulation and furniture where the rats have urinated, and watch for rat feces.

  • Clean up and throw away every piece of insulation and furniture that rats have ruined.

  • Replace insulation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Protective covering is essential to wear because of any communicable diseases the rats may be carrying. Cats and dogs are useful to have around because both species will hunt rats, but they cannot keep up with the population by themselves. Cats and dogs may also deter rats from settling in your home.

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