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Rats are never a welcome visitor. They’re distressing, unsightly and can spread diseases. They can multiple quickly in large numbers and once they have established residence within or around your home they are not easy to get rid of through conventional methods. If you suspect rats in or around your home or business or know of rats in your area its beneficial to take preventive measures. Listed are some things you can do to prevent rat infestations.

Seal off Possible Entryways

Inspect in and around your home or building for access points. Cracks and crevices, even the size of a quarter can provide enough room for rats to enter. While you’re there, inspect any other buildings around the area; sheds, barns, storage bins are all places where rats can nest and make a home. Vents and pipes are also areas you want to inspect. Guarding vents with screens helps keep rats out and burying pipes under gravel in a drainage channel will ensure they don’t have easy access.

Keep Things Clean

Cleaning up around your home can seem like a chore but your efforts will be worth it. Trash and debri give rats materials to feed off of or make nests with. Eliminating these sources will help prevent rats in your area. Keeping compost and garbage away from the home helps keep rats from wanting to come closer to your home. Quickly disposing off all trash and debris is always a good habit. Small plants and shrubs are another thing to consider. These provide a sense of shelter so planting a few feet away from the perimeter of your home or business is a wise, cautionary measure.

Check your Insulation

Insulation plays a significant role in closing off exposed cracks in your home; in particular your crawl spaces and attics. Over time though, insulation degrades and is no longer sufficient in its role. It can begin to fall down in your crawl space and thus provides access to your home as well as materials for rats to nest with. Checking over exposed insulation for weak spots and replacing them as needed will help keep rats away from these areas.

Secure all Food

Food placed in storage like sheds and garages should always be in a seal proof container. Rats are practically blind but they have a great sense of smell. Things like pet food, bird seed, extra pantry supplies and emergency food kits should be sealed in a plastic container or bin. If you’ve had rats in your home before it’s also a good idea to store food in glass or plastic containers instead of their original packaging for safe measure. Without a food source, rats will go elsewhere.

Yard Maintenance

This may not seem necessary but many home and business have overhanging limbs from trees which is an access route for rats to navigate. Plants and shrubs provide places of shelter for rats so pruning back vegetation is a great preventative measure. Picking up fallen fruit from fruit trees and vegetable plants keeps food sources to a minimum. Placing bird feeders away from the home is also a good idea. Planting mint around your home or office space helps to deter rats in the area as well. Peppermint oil can also be used as a spray around your home.

Think you may have a rat or mouse problem? Contact us for a free inspection anywhere in the Portland/Vancouver metro area.

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