Although many people may simply not want rats in their home for comfort reasons, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explained that rats can be carriers of more than 35 diseases. Unlike birds or other animals, rats can spread diseases directly as well as through feces, urine and bites. Rats can also carry in fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, all of which can bring additional diseases, the CDC warned.
So whether you're looking to prevent rats from coming in your home for sanitary reasons or just to avoid general uneasiness, here are some tips that can help keep rodents at bay. If it's too late and you're already experiencing rat issues, consider contacting a pest control service.
Keep your yard tidy
As King County, Wash., advised its residents, it's important to be proactive when it comes to rats. If you keep a clean perimeter around the house, you may be able to avoid having them come in in the first place.
Rats like to eat the same food we do, so if you don't have tightly secured trash cans or don't clean up your garbage properly, you risk becoming a food source. This also means that any composting and bird feeders should be made resistant to rodents. You should also store firewood a 1 1/2 feet off the ground and away from the house.
HowStuffWorks also recommended that people keep their grills clean, as even the remnants of last week's hamburger can attract these pests.
Seal your house up tight
This is a good idea for keeping out bugs and cold air as well, but as MSN Real Estate explained rats can get through very small openings. Even a regular-sized rat can fit through a space the size of a half dollar. Metal mesh, steel wool and caulk are all good tools that can block up openings and keep rats out.
Examine the sewer
Channel 4 told homeowners that a broken sewer component may be the issue when a rat problem just won't go away. The news source recommended that people make sewer repair a priority to ensure rats stop coming indoors.
Channel 4 also explained that rat prevention is important and easy for homeowners to do, but that once traces of rats are found indoors, it's time to contact professional pest management. Even after rats are gone, their waste can still be dangerous and precautions should be taken while it's cleaned.