27 October 2022

How to Catch a Rodent in Your House

Do you have rats in your house? Are they wreaking havoc? Do you want them gone as soon as possible? Don’t worry! We’ve found all the best tips and tricks for catching rats in your house. But first, we’re going to cover some frequently asked questions about rat infestations and pest control in London

What is a Rat Infestation?

What is a Rat Infestation?

So, what exactly is a rat infestation? A rat infestation is a sustained rat problem. Rat populations have essentially invaded your house and are refusing to leave. Unsealed food, shelter, and water attract pests.

One of these things is probably tempting rats inside your house. It’s a good idea to find out what exactly is causing your rat problems before you start to treat it. As a good rule of thumb, one rat generally means more rats are floating around, which means there’s likely an infestation. As soon as you spot one rat, we recommend purchasing and setting rat traps immediately. The problem will continue to worsen if you aren’t proactive! 

How Does an Infestation Happen? 

An infestation happens when there are poor sanitation and hygiene practices in your home. Rats are always on the hunt for food, shelter, and water. Exposed food sources, pet bowls, dripping pipes, household waste, sewer systems, and even shredded paper, can all cause an infestation.

Pest management begins and ends with vigilance and cleanliness. Remember to look out for places rats and mice could feed themselves, find shelter, or drink. Try to eliminate these risks as much as possible! A big part of rodent control is stopping an infestation before it even happens. 

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Rats and Mice?  

How Long Does it Take to Get Rid of Rats and Mice? 

It depends on what kind of infestation you have on your hands. For a relatively minor mouse infestation, it will take around 3 weeks to completely eliminate the rodents in your house. A minor infestation is anything from one mouse to a couple of rodents. On the other hand, if you have a severe infestation, it can take up to 3 months to solve. Rat pest control may be the way to go.

Do Brown Rats Cause an Infestation? 

Yes, all sorts of rats can cause an infestation, including the brown rat. Brown Rats (Rattus norvegicus), also known as Norway rats, are the most common species of “true rats”. These are the rodents most likely to invade your home. “True rats” are commonly found in urban areas and love sneaking into people’s homes.

Black rats (Rattus rattus) are also regularly found in domestic homes. Dark brown rats are about the size of a pencil (15cm). Whereas black rats are slightly bigger at 20cm. You should take note of what kind of rat species has infested your home before you treat the problem.

Do Brown Rats Cause an Infestatio

How Do You Identify Rats in Your House? 

How Do You Identify Rats in Your House?

Rat or mouse droppings, claw marks, and rat nests are all signs there are rodents in your house. These things will usually be spotted in secure, warm locations in your house. This will usually be underneath the kitchen sink, in cupboards, or in the walls. Mice tend to gravitate toward damp, warm, dark areas.

You usually won’t actually see rodents. They will be identified by the marks and mice droppings they leave around your house. If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, you have a rodent problem on your hands. 

Can You Get Rid of Rats Naturally? 

Yes, you can absolutely get rid of rats and mice naturally. You don’t always have to use chemicals or traps. For example, cotton balls drenched in peppermint oil will naturally deter rodents.

Place the cotton balls around entry points, wall cavities, tree branches, or anywhere else you’ve seen rodents. The strong smell of peppermint oil will irritate the rodents and force them to leave your home. Chilli pepper, black pepper, cloves, and vinegar also work really well. 

How Can You Prevent a Rat Infestation? 

There are lots of small things you can do every day to stop a rat infestation. The most important thing you can do to stop rats is tightly seal all sources of food in your home. Rats and mice are drawn to exposed food more than anything.

They are scavengers who are constantly looking for their next meal. Remove all temptations that attract mice. You’ll notice a significant difference in rodent activity. Securing sources of food is the best way to prevent an infestation! 

How Can You Prevent a Rat Infestation?

How Effective Are Rat Traps? 

Rat traps are very effective! Rat traps catch or kill mice, rats, and other rodents. A rat trap is an easy and affordable way to remove an infestation. A rat trap is a metal cage that is designed to catch rats without killing them.

Food bait is put in the cage trap to lure mice or rats inside. When the animal enters the cage to eat the bait, the door automatically closes and traps them inside. Depending on the type of trap you have purchased, it will either kill or contain the animal.

Live traps are more humane, however, you will need to dispose of the live rodent yourself. Kill traps use poisoned bait to destroy the rodent. Both traps work well! It’s up to you to decide what is the best trap method for your needs. 

When Should You Call a Pest Control Company? 

You should call a rodent control company when you cannot get rid of rodents on your own. Individual electric traps or snap traps only catch one rodent at a time. If your infestation is large and sustained, you will need to call an exterminator. You can manage a couple of rodents on your own, but a massive infestation will need to be sorted by a pest control company.

You should call an exterminator at the first signs of an infestation. The problem will continue to worsen the longer you leave it. As we keep saying, it’s best to be proactive when it comes to the health and safety of your home! Rodent control companies are great at what they do. Before you know it, you’ll never see another rodent in your house. 

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How to Catch a Rodent in Your House

Now, let’s get into how to catch a mouse in your house. As we’ve said before, trapping a rodent is really easy! Follow these steps for a no-stress installation process. If your traps aren’t as effective as you’d like them to be, consider calling a rodent control company instead of setting more traps! 

1. Identify the Type of Rodent

Identify the type of rodent in your house before you set traps. Different rodents require slightly different treatments. For example, if you have black rats, also known as roof rats, you will need to place lots of traps along open crevices and small holes.

Black rats live in colonies, reproduce quickly, and carry nasty diseases that are harmful to humans. You’ll need to act quickly if you have identified black rats in your home. On the other hand, you could identify a Norway rat. In this case, you should place bait boxes near burrows, nests, travel routes, and chewed wires. Identifying the type of rodent is a very important first step! 

2. Recognise the Behavioural Pattern of the Rodent

Recognising the behavioural pattern of the rodent helps you set the right traps, in the direct places. Rodents are always looking for something in your home. It may be food, water, or shelter. Finding out what they are up to helps you set traps that will work.

Mice leave droppings in the places they frequent often. They will also leave chew marks or scuff marks on walls, wires, or floorboards. Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs of rodents and their specific behavioural patterns. You should place traps near activity by mice and rats.

3. Choose Bait Based on the Type of Rodent

There are so many kinds of bait you can use! Non-poisoned bait includes cheese, meat, bacon, chocolate, nuts, and peanut butter. Poisoned bait must be purchased from your local grocery shop. It’s your choice if you use poisoned or non-poisoned bait.

People generally make this decision based on how humane they want to be. Regardless, make sure you choose the best bait for the rodents in your house. Identifying the rodents and understanding their behavioural patterns will help here. We want the bait to be as effective as possible!

4. Choose the Right Trap

Now, it’s time to choose the right trap. Firstly, you’ll need to decide whether you want to use a live or a kill trap. Secondly, think about what kind of trap you want. You have the option of using a snap trap or an electric trap.

A snap trap is more affordable than an electric trap. A spring is activated in a snap trap when a rodent enters the trap. Whereas an electric trap uses a motion sensor to electronically catch the animal. Note that there is always a risk of other animals entering the trap and becoming stuck. Try to find a secure area to place rat traps that are not accessed by people or animals. 

5. Do Not Use Rat Poison

You don’t have to use rat poison if you don’t want to! Live traps are just as good as kill traps. Rat poison is not the be-all and end-all. However, it can be easier to use and maintain than live traps. You will need to constantly monitor your live traps for rat activity. The rat will die from starvation if the live trap is left unchecked.

Never touch the live trap or kill trap with your bare hands and always wear gloves. Once a rat has been caught, you will need to safely remove it from the trap and transfer it to another location away from your home. Follow strict health and safety guidelines while you conduct this process. 

6. Seal Off Where the Rodents Are Entering Your House

Before you set traps, seal off where the rodents are entering your house. Mouse traps won’t be very effective if there is ample opportunity for rats to infest your property. Look for a small hole or entry point where rodents are entering and exiting. Seal off these pathways with putty or something similar. In addition, make sure all food is in a sealable plastic bag or locked plastic container. 

7. Prepare Rodent Traps and Mouse Traps

Prepare rodent and mouse traps for their installation. Remove the trap from the box and assemble it according to the instructions. Next, choose the bait that will be used for the trapping. Place the bait in the middle of the trap in a safe, secure location. 

8. Choose the Right Location

Choose the right location for the traps. This could be a number of locations around your kitchen, bathroom, and hallway. Or, it could be in just one spot you often see rats and mice. You could start with one and then add more traps if necessary. It’s all about finding the right system for you.

We like to glue traps to the floor so they don’t slide around. Trapping should always be done in a secluded, quiet location. Rodents aren’t exactly scuttling through your living room all day! Choose a location you know is frequented by rodents. Re bait, you’re leaving poison out you must make sure it’s away from pets and small children! 

9. Leave Traps Near Rat Droppings

Rat and mouse droppings are a sign that rodents are nearby. It’s a good idea to place your traps in the proximity of rat and mouse droppings. A mouse will tend to burrow, eat, and relieve themselves in the same area.  

10. Check the Traps Frequently

We recommend checking the traps frequently. Traps should be closely monitored every day or every other day. You don’t want to find a rotting corpse in the trap one day. Always be careful when you are handling mouse traps. Rats carry horrible bacteria and parasites that can be harmful to humans. 

11. Make Sure the Traps Are Away From Pets

Rats, poison, traps, and bait can all hurt your pets. Keep the rat traps well away from unsuspecting pets. If the poison is placed in the kitchen or bathroom, make sure the trap is fully secure and pet-proof. Nobody wants their pets getting poisoned from unsecured bait.

12. Wait for the Rodents! 

Once your mouse traps have been prepared, installed, and safety proofed, all you need to do is wait for rats and other mice. Fingers crossed that your trapping works, otherwise you may need to call your local pest control company! 

Thanks for reading! We hope you’ve learned some valuable information about how to catch a rodent in your house. The same content is available across our blog! Let us know if you have any questions or comments. Best of luck trapping those pesky pests.

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