One of the most common – and most problematic – pests people have in Chicago is rats. Sure, everyone also has to deal with other pests like spiders, but at least spiders can be beneficial. Rat infestations are the opposite of helpful. They’re downright dangerous.
But you don’t have to just let the rats in either. You can take steps to prevent them coming in your home and settling in. You can protect your home, health, and family. It only takes a few simple steps from you and Chicago pest control.
The Problems With Rats in Your Home
First, let’s talk about why rats are such a big problem to have in your home. Most people know that the rats that infest homes are wild animals that have been who-knows-where and in who-knows-what. So the gross factor is honestly enough of a reason to not want rats in your home walking on your clean floors, furniture, and counters.
But there are other, more concerning problems that rats bring into your home. For one, they pose a health threat to your pets. Rats often carry fleas with them, and when they come into your home, those fleas can move from the rats to your pets. This is especially a problem with dogs. If fleas find their way from rats to your dog, your dog can suffer health problems.
It isn’t just your pets that are at risk when rats are around though. You and your family are equally at risk. Rats carry all sorts of diseases. And if they spread those diseases around your home and to your family, your family could become extremely sick. Some of these illnesses can even be fatal.
Rats are not a nuisance to put up with. They’re a health hazard. If you can prevent them from coming into your home in the first place, you and your family will be much better off. Here are some simple but effective ways you can do that:
How to Prevent a Rat Infestation
Seal Up Cracks and Gaps in Your Home
Rats rarely come into your home through the front door. After all, you aren’t giving them an open invitation to your home. Instead, they come inside through holes and cracks in your home. You might not even know those holes are there, but it isn’t hard for the rats to find them.
To prevent rats from coming inside your home, go through the inside and outside of your home to look for any hole or crack that could let rats (or other pests) inside your home. When you find holes and cracks, seal them up so nothing can come in.
You’ll also want to assess your doors and windows. Sometimes they have gaps around them as well, in which case you’ll need to add some weather stripping to the door or window frame.
Seal up any hole or gap that looks like it could let a rat in. They can fit through smaller holes than you might think, so it’s a good idea to do the smaller holes and cracks as well. Even if the rats can’t fit through, you’ll also be preventing other pests at the same time. Chicago pest control can also help you find likely places in your home that could be letting rats inside.
Protect Food Sources
A big reason rats come into your home in the first place is because they are looking for a shelter that has a good food source. And you just happen to have a pantry. And pet food. And crumbs on the floor (sometimes). So it’s a great place for a few rats to set up a nest.
But if you take extra steps to protect your food from rats, you give the rats less of a reason to come and stay. If the food is too hard to get to, what’s the point? They can find food easier somewhere else. To make sure your food isn’t attracting rats too much, try these tips:
- Keep food in airtight containers
- Store more food in your refrigerator and freezer
- Don’t leave food sitting out uncovered
- Tidy up crumbs and spills
- Get rid of old or expired food
- Throw out food in a trash can with a lid or down a disposal drain
- Don’t leave pet food uncovered
- Store pet food in an airtight container or the refrigerator
- Take trash out of your home as soon as it’s full
It’s also a good idea to clean your kitchen often. Rats simply have less reason to be in clean places because they can’t find food and it’s harder to hide. Plus, if you happen to have rats in your home, frequent cleaning can help keep you and your family safe.
Set Rat Traps
If you don’t have rats in your own home, but you know of homes nearby that do have rats, you should set rat traps around the interior and exterior of your home. Make sure the traps are set and baited correctly so the rats can be captured before they have a chance to settle into your home. Being ready for the rats when they show up is a great way to prevent an infestation.
You can also use rat poison outside of your home, but do so with great caution, especially if you have pets or children because they may accidentally come into contact with the poison. Teach your children to keep their distance from the poison, and don’t let pets be outside without supervision if poison is placed outside.
While traps can be fairly effective against a few rats, they aren’t enough to prevent large numbers of rats. That’s where Chicago pest control comes in.
Contact Chicago Pest Control For Preventive Treatments
While sealing off your home, cutting off access to food, and setting traps can all go a long way toward preventing rat infestations in your home, you also need a stronger prevention to make those efforts as effective as possible. Chicago pest control can give you that added protection. Scheduling preventive treatments with a pest control company will help keep the rats at bay.
Rats are a pest that need to be taken seriously. Your health and the health of your family are at risk when a rat comes on the premises. Do your best to take every effort to prevent rats from infesting your home.