Drive away rats: How to scare away the rodents

Without poison bait
Drive away rats: How to scare away the rodents

Drive away rats: Brown rat on a stone wall between green

Rats are primarily attracted to leftover food in gardens and gardens. But how do you get rid of the rodents?

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Not only do they transmit dangerous diseases, they can also become a real nuisance: rats are repeat offenders who end up in the same places over and over again. Nevertheless, you don’t have to resort to deadly poisoned bait to drive away the rodents. We will tell you effective alternatives.

In Germany, brown rats live primarily, which prefer underground habitats and are therefore also referred to as sewer rats. Their total population in this country is estimated at up to 350 million animals, which is not exactly small. It is all the more important to fight an infestation quickly – but you do not necessarily have to use poisoned bait, which causes rats (internally) to bleed to death in an extremely painful way. Instead, you can rely on tried and tested home remedies and live traps. To be sure that you are really dealing with an infestation, you should know the most important indicators. What these are and how to drive rats away is discussed below.

Searching for clues: How to recognize a rat infestation

At the latest when you see a live (or dead) rat, the finding is clear. However, there are typical signs of an infestation even without sighting the rodents. These include:

  • rat droppings: If you find spindle-shaped poop balls in the basement or in the attic, it’s very likely rat droppings. Depending on how much droppings you find (a rodent excretes up to 40 balls a day), this indicates several animals.

  • smears: These are body fat residues, dirt and dust residues that rats leave behind on their routes – on the walls or on the floor. And footprints, i.e. the imprints of their little paws, are a sure sign of their presence.

  • Ammonia smell: Over time, once a rat or rats have nested in your home, they (and their nests) will emit an unpleasant smell that is pungent on the nose – this is due to the ammonia that the animals spread everywhere.

  • gnawing marks: Whether plastic or aluminum, fabric or mortar – rats are omnivores and will therefore nibble on everything that comes their way. If you spot the bite marks, recognizable by two parallel grooves through their sharp incisors, you probably have an active infestation.

What attractants are rodents attracted to?

Rats do not stray into your home without a reason, but always follow their nose, which alerts them to fresh food. This is often leftover food that has already been thrown away. For this reason, you should always dispose of your rubbish carefully and always make sure that your rubbish bags and bins are closed tightly. And that’s not all – these food sources also magically attract rats: animal food not only tastes good to your dogs or cats, but also to rodents. When storing (especially in the basement), make sure that all animal-based foods are laid out in tightly lockable boxes. The same applies to your stored fruit and vegetable supplies, which rats like to attack. In addition, compost heaps are literally good food for rodents – to protect them from rats, they should always be well covered. Tightly closable containers made of metal are even better (plastic and wood are gnawed on).

Drive away rats: These are the best home remedies

If you have discovered the first signs of a rat infestation, you can use tried and tested home remedies that are said to be effective against the animals. The best known include:

  1. Essential Oils (clovechamomile, mint) are said to be a tried and tested remedy against rats: the animals are supposed to flee from the scent that is emitted along the paths.
  2. Turpentine: The same applies to the resin mixture (or alternatively also vinegar essence) in which to dip a rag and place in the entrances of the rat burrows.
  3. Cat litter: Yes, even used cat litter that you cut into small cloth bag fill and place near nesting sites to repel rats.
  4. Cayenne pepper: Scatter some of it over the rat’s runways so you can get the sharp seasoning absorb through grooming and their mucous membranes are irritated.
  5. lime paint: The active ingredients contained therein should also have a deterrent effect on rats. Ask one Bucket where the animals are.

That’s why rat poison baits are not a good idea

As mentioned at the beginning, rats face an agonizing death if they swallow poison bait. That being said, the ingredients can harm not only the rodents, but also dogs and cats — or even toddlers who accidentally swallow the bait. In addition, rats are very intelligent and can recognize the connection between a poisonous morsel and a dead member of their own species who died from it. This will help them resist temptation and avoid the bait that is laid out. Unfortunately, the same applies to live traps: After a short time, the animals understand what the cages are good for and no longer grope in. Of course, it’s still worth a try and always better than a poison bait.

How to prevent rat infestation

You can take preventive measures to prevent rodents from making themselves at home in your basement, in your attic or in less-used rooms:

  • Don’t discard any leftovers down the drain or in your toilet, as they provide food for rats in the sewer and can also lure them into the house down the drains. In newer buildings there is usually a so-called backflow flap, which is supposed to prevent exactly that. In old buildings, on the other hand, the flap can be readjusted.
  • Bring to the basement windows fine-meshed outer grilles (less than 18 millimeters) if these can be reached by rats from the ground. And also light wells and air vents should be covered so that they are inaccessible to the animals. Breakthroughs for supply lines should with steel wool be locked.
  • Seal all cracks, holes and joints, through which a rat can get inside the apartment. Keep in mind that the animals can squeeze through two centimeter wide openings. Use fine mesh wire and mortarto block all entrances. And also watch out for leaky doors that don’t close properly.

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