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The biggest pest species that most people will have to deal with on a regular basis will be rats, as they are so common in almost every part of the world that eventually almost all people will find themselves coming into contact with them. However, the best way to avoid having to deal with rats in and around your property is to try and reduce the chances of them being attracted to your home. The best way to do this is to gain an understanding of what will attract the animals, and then try to remove these features that are likely to draw the rats to your property.
Food Sources For Rats
The key feature that rats will seek when they are looking for a good area to make a nest is that it will need to be close to a good source of food. While most people will keep their own food in sealed containers in a cupboard, there are other sources of food that rats can find, and sacks of pet food or food for domestic animals can often be nibbled through quite easily. Where possible, you should try to keep this type of food in a hard plastic canister or barrel that can be sealed, while keeping garbage in a can as opposed to in the sack can also prevent rats from getting at it.
Good Conditions For A Rats Nest
Rats will usually be looking for areas that are dark and warm when they are looking for a good place to create a nest, and for this reason many people will find that wall cavities and attic spaces are common nesting places for them. Spaces under properties or in cellars are also prone to having rats' nests, so being aware of where the rats might be nesting can help you to deal with a problem. Signs of where they have been active will include the little black droppings that they leave, and also the dark smudges that they will leave on surfaces around where they are active.
Dealing With A Rat Problem
If you do find that you have rats that are living around your property, look for the places the rats have been active. These locations will be the places where they are most active, and will be the best places to leave traps to catch these rats. Trapping rats can actually take a fair amount of time, and you may find that you will not catch all of the animals immediately, but it is important to be persistent. Once you don't see signs of fresh rat activity, it will be important to carry out an examination of the property to see if you can find any other animals or the nest, and also to seal any holes the rats were using to access the inside of your home.
Removing Features That Attract Rats
One of the key things that you can do is to ensure that you maintain your property well, as rats are opportunistic, and even small holes in walls or vents can be used as access points by these inventive creatures. Trying to keep any potential food sources away from the rats is one thing, but containers that place a seal so there is no scent to attract the animals is the best option, as this will mean they aren't attracted to the area around your property at all. Along with being vigilant and proactive in dealing with any signs of rat activity as soon as it appears, this will be the best way to prevent serious rat infestations in and around your home.
Go back to the Rat Removal page or read my guide for How to get rid of rats.