Rats elicit squeamishness in the best of people. If you have obvious evidence of them such as finding them in your pool, having the cat drag one in, or seeing them run across the yard or electrical wires then it’s important to start control processes immediately. But there are other signs you may have rats – such as burrows in the garden or compost pile, rustling in the attic at dusk, or finding rat droppings (which are similar to mouse dropping, but larger). In addition to eating food products, rats also like to gnaw on wood, wires (sometimes causing fires), and insulation which can become costly fixes. Salmonellosis, ratbite fever, and typhus are just a few of the diseases they can transmit to humans.
To control the population of rats, it is not only necessary to remove the sources of food for them but also to rodent proof your home by sealing any gaps of more than one-quarter inch with steel wool or sheet metal which they can’t gnaw through. If they are still an issue, it is best to set traps to catch them as poisoning the rats could lead to them dying in the walls or other inaccessible places, and the stench that creates can be unbearable and require more repair work to your home.