Rats are a nuisance that can become a serious health hazard. No place in your home, especially a crawlspace, is safe from them. A rat infestation can cause severe problems to your home's electrical and structural stability, creating fire hazards.
Their droppings can also cause serious health problems in humans and other animals. Rats will also eat and contaminate your food. Removing rats in a crawlspace is no easy task, but you can effectively eliminate the vermin by following these steps.
Step 1 - Locate the Infestation
If rats are living in your crawlspace, you will notice sounds coming from behind the wall, whether from scratching, scampering, or gnawing. Look around your home for the rats’ point of access.Examine the foundation for holes and cracks.
Check the exterior of the house around telephone lines, cable company wires, and other externals to internal wiring. Many rats will squeeze through these tiny holes. When you find the holes, patch them with wire mesh and spackling paste. It is important stop rats from entering the house.
Step 2 - Catching the Rats
There are 3 ways to catch rodents in a crawlspace:
- Snap traps
- Live traps
Snap traps and poison will certainly kill the rats, while live traps do not. It is important to not use pesticide inside or outside the home, as the chance for contamination is too high. Children and pets can easily stumble into the poison and be seriously harmed.
If you prefer to not kill the rodents, use a live trap. Do not use a sticky trap, as it will harm the animal. Bait whichever trap you use with a spoonful of peanut butter; rats are attracted to peanut oil.
Rats travel along the walls, so it is a good idea to place the traps along the walls of the crawl space. Be generous with the traps, but do not cover the entire floor with them. Allow the traps to rest for a few days prior to checking them and replace the bait.
Step 3 - Removal of Rats
Once rats have been caught in snap traps, you can just toss them in a garbage bag and dispose of them. If, you chose to use live traps, then drive the rate a long distance from your property before releasing them in order to prevent them from returning.
Step 4 - Prevent a Return
Despite your best efforts, rats might find return. To help prevent them from doing so, you should remove all garbage and debris from inside and outside your home. Also remove their droppings, and thoroughly clean your home. Apply commercially available rat repellents.