You’re at home, preparing a wonderful dinner for your family and suddenly you see a sneaky little animal scurrying from one corner to another. It’s a rat and it has escaped and gone into hiding before you could even catch it.

Rats or mice at home could be very annoying. They chew on pretty much anything you have at home. Food, paper, clothes and even wood are not safe from these pesky rodents. But aside from the nuisance they bring, these animals could also be hazardous to your health.

Rats could bring and spread germs that cause diseases. They sometimes even carry fleas and leave traces of their urine and waste as they go. Aside from that, these animals are known to reproduce quickly. A female rat could give birth up to 10 times in a year with at least 10 rats per litter. Just imagine what would happen if their litter in your home gets unchecked, you’d have an army of rats hiding in your walls in no time.

The first step in getting rid of rats in your home is to attack the place of their habitat. This could mean your kitchen walls, dining corners and even your garage. Check the things that are known to attract these rodents and find a way for them not to do so.

1. The first place all rats stay in is your kitchen or dining area because this is where the food is. Check your cupboards if it has holes where Ratatouille’s relatives might be staying. Then ensure that your foods are kept in metal or glass containers with lids that are secure. Rodents can chew on boxes and plastics so food and ingredients coming from these containers must be transferred.

2. Do not leave leftovers on top of the table. No matter how high that is, rats are great climbers and they would be able to reach that.

3. Always make sure that your trashcans are covered with a tight lid. Sometimes, humans throw away uneaten leftovers in the trash and the smell attracts the pesky rodents. Make sure that they would not have anything to eat inside your home so there would be no reason for them to scour inside your place and look for something to chew on.

4. Ensure that your kitchen counters, sinks, tables and other surfaces are clean before you hit the bed. Do not leave the dishes unwashed or dirty pots on top of the stove as these are like what red flags are to bulls – it attracts the rodents. Wipe the surfaces in your home with cleanser and disinfectant so that it all enticing smell would be removed.

5. Check your house for any holes or places rodents might burrow in. These animals are very flexible and it could get inside even through the smallest of holes. If you see a hole or crack in the wall, seal it immediately so it would not become an entry point for the rats to go into. Do not seal it with wood as rats could chew on that material as well. Use something sturdy and strong, concrete or steel would do.

6. You could also exterminate rats the natural way. Consider getting a pet such as a cat, or even a dog. These pets enjoy catching rodents that scurry around the house. On the other hand, rodents do not like to be caught by cats. In fact, they are terrified of them. So having these animals at bay could be very useful and helpful in diminishing the rat population in your house in no time.

7. If you are not sure you could take care of a pet, you could enlist the use of a mousetrap. There are different kinds available in the market:
• Snap traps are effective, however, it does kill the rat immediately so if you’d rather keep the animal alive, do not use this. It could also be dangerous to other animals and humans who are not aware of its presence.
• Live traps could be used if you want to set free the rat in a faraway place
• Glue traps are also useful. But some animal rights’ groups have rallied against it because it could cause slow death to the rat.

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