How to get rid of rats. There’s no easy answer

How to get rid of rats, it’s a great question.  The answer is to do it right the first time, because if you don’t you’re in for a long battle.  Rats, in particular Norway rats are a formidable opponent.

How to get rid of rats

I was walking in a New York City subway terminal a while ago and happened to  look down at the tracks.  Sitting there was the largest rat I’ve ever seen.  As you could probably imagine I was fascinated, residents didn’t notice and tourists were horrified.  The first thing that came to my mind was that I’d like to do rat control in NYC sometime.  Unfortunately, that probably will never happen, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of rats in CT for me to work on.

Why do you have rats?

This is an easy one.  You lured them there.  Every rat service call I’ve been on in a rural area has one thing in common, a food source.  The most common food sources are bird seed, fruit trees, chicken coups, compost bins and left over seasonal gardens.  There are more, but for sure I will find one of those things in a yard with rats.

Next, and more importantly there usually is a water source.  The Norway rat has a higher need for water than food.  Typical water sources are nearby ponds (natural or man made), yard toys left out that hold rain, storage in the yard trapping rain and bird baths.  As with the food sources there are plenty of other places, but those are the most popular.

Methods of getting rid of rats outside the home

How to catch rats
Norway rats aren’t as big as small dogs as some will say, but they’re close

I’ve seen just about every available method to get rid of rats.  I’ve seen people use buckets with water, live traps (don’t do this), snap traps outside (or this) and even electric zap traps.  However, in the end most people end up calling an exterminator.  With the exception of the live traps and snap traps if a homeowner has perseverance eventually they’ll succeed, but there are some things an exterminator brings to the table that you probably don’t know about.

The secret to getting rid of rats beyond denying food and water is the method used for control.  There are certain things that will work well outside, but not inside and vice versa.

As an example the use of tracking powders in burrows on the periphery of a building works great, but burrows away from the building need granule baits.

An experienced exterminator also knows when the use of liquid baits in commercial areas is appropriate.

New way to get rid of rats

Recently we had a large farm that we treated in Litchfield, CT the rats had been entrenched for years.  The owner has used cats, poison baits, traps and every other method you could think of.  The problem is that the reproduction rate of Norway rats is so high that it just became unmanageable.

After our inspection I decided I wanted to try a new method of control.  I had recently read that a company used dry ice in New York City with great results.  We called our distributer to get the appropriately labeled product called Rat Ice and gave it a try.

We followed the label directions and poured in the dry ice.  When used properly dry ice sucks the oxygen out of a burrow leading to the death of rats located within.  Our technicians inspected the property and ended up using 40 pounds of dry ice and knocking down the problem to a level the owner hadn’t seen in years.  We’ve been able to maintain this control going on 5 months.

There is a lot more to getting rid of rats than putting out poison baits and traps.  I’m never against DIY projects, but this one might be better left to a professional

If you have rats and need help call Envirocare Pest Control at 1-888-879-6481.  We can help.