How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Garage?
Garages host a multitude of components that attract rats. Dark and filled with many places to hide, a garage is the perfect place for a rat infestation to prosper. As rats are a common pest that wreak havoc wherever they go, damage is often left unseen until too late. Furthermore, if the population gets out of hand, rats can infiltrate the rest of the home. This adds the risk of disease and contamination to food and water. This is why rats need to be dealt with before an infestation arises.
In this article, we will cover effective methods to help you get rid of rats in your garage for good.
How Do You Know if You Have Rats in Your Garage?
The first step in removing rats from your garage is locating where they are living. Although most rats aren't often seen in the open during the day, there are several easy signs that indicate their presence. Below is a helpful list of signs that suggest the existence of rats in garage areas:
- Live or dead rats.
- Droppings, mostly found around human or pet food. The areas in or around trash are common place as well.
- Noises, such as scratching sounds, in the dark.
- Nests or piled nesting materials in hidden areas.
- Signs of gnawed wires or structural wood.
- Burrows around the yard, under the home, or near outbuildings
- Gnawed fruits in or around trees.
- Smudge marks along walls
- Rodent hairs along paths, in nests, or near food.
What Attracts Rats To Your Garage?
Knowing what attracts rats to your garage is important information. To help prevent them from coming back to your home, it’s imperative to understand the key factors that attract them. The following components are the main reasons for rats entering your garage:
- Food: Rats are attracted to anything that’s edible. Although they consume anything that provides a source of nourishment, they are mainly attracted to fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
- Water: Keep an eye out for any leaky pipes or still water, as rats are always looking for a source of water to keep hydrated.
- Tiny Spaces: Rats love tiny and cluttered spaces. Not only do they provide them with warm shelter, but also offer hiding spots from predators. As a result, garages should be decluttered often to help prevent rats from becoming interested.
- Previous Infestations: Previous infestations can potentially leave leftover nesting residue. The old residue smell is a big attractant to new rats.
How to Prevent Rats from Coming in the Garage?
- Do not store food or still water: Since rats can smell both packaged and unpacked food, make sure there isn’t anything edible with your garage that might attract them.
- Keep the garage tidy: Ensure that your garage is well swept and has zero obstructions for small animals to use for shelter.
- Keep a look out for holes: Regularly scan the area for any new entryways that rats can enter from.
- Check the attic: A major area for rat infestations to start in is in the attic. This generally happens due to tree branches physically touching your house or garage. To prevent this, ensure that all branches are trimmed enough to prevent rats from using it as a bridge. You can learn more about removing rats from the attic from our previous article here.
- Look for damages on the garage door: If your garage door has a rubber seal, check it regularly, as rats tend to chew through basically anything.
How to Eliminate Rats in the Garage?
Inexpensive and easy, rat traps are one way to get rid of rodents. Furthermore, the traps are generally cheap and can be left for long periods of time if un-baited. However, whether left baited or un-baited, traps must be regularly inspected. This is to ensure secondary insects or animals are not attracted to the dead rat or bait.
Additionally, all traps need to be set at the location of where rat signs were present. They also need to be kept away from potentially being triggered by children or pets.
- Snap Traps: These inexpensive wooden or plastic rat-sized traps are effective means of capturing and killing rats. When using a snap trap, be sure to find ones labeled for rat control. This is to ensure the rats are killed, rather than inhumanely injured.
- Live Traps: Live traps are traps that use a rat’s natural tendency to wiggle into small holes. These traps allow rodents to get in, but not get out of the trap through a wind-up mechanism triggered by touch. The mechanism is triggered when the rodent enters the whole of the trap. Furthermore, rats captured this way must be humanely killed or released immediately.
- Glue boards: Glue boards are the least effective method of rat control. This is because larger rodents can sometimes pull themselves loose from the glue. Additionally, other rodents can simply drag the board away if only caught by the foot.
- Baiting Traps: Use dry pet food, nuts, dried fruit, or dried meat as the most effective bait on traps. These types of baits can be attached to the trap using wire, glue, or string. Softer baits, such as peanut butter, are less effective since they can be pulled off without triggering the trap.
- Rodenticides: Rodenticides are the poison pesticides used in killing rats and mice. Although some can be bought at home stores, a new EPA regulation has limited most to be sold at specific bait stations. The rodenticide is then sold in single-use containers to help prevent children and pets from inadvertent contact. Also, all label directions need to be read and followed precisely.
- Bait Stations: Bait stations are enclosed equipment that hold the rodenticide bait. Rather than trapping the rat within, a bait station allows a rat to enter to eat the poison while protecting against accidental contact or ingestion by non-target animals.
Contact Your Local Pest Control
As a homeowner, if you suspect rats are still getting into your garage after consistently trying to remove them, it is recommended that a local pest control service be contacted. Whether you used bait traps or snap traps, rodents can still be a persistent problem if not dealt with fully. A pest control professional, like The Bug Master, can properly assess and deal with any pest situation. Remember, rats breed at a fast pace, so it’s imperative to act quickly before the infestation gets out of hand.