Why Is Poisoning Not A Good Idea To Deal With Rats?

There are few things as unpleasant for US homeowners as discovering a live, furry rodent on their property. And yet, rats are possibly the most common wild animal intruder you’ll find across cities. Since rats are highly resilient and adaptable creatures, they’ve long since learned how to survive alongside humans through a versatile diet, and general sneaky behavior.

In other words, it’s more than likely that you’ll run into a rat at some point in your life, and when that moment comes, it’s important to know what you should do about it.

How to handle a rat infestation

There are several resources and solutions available for handling rat infestations, and they will depend on a variety of factors, chiefly the size of the infestation, but also your home type, and your personal preferences.

Should you use poison when you discover a rat?

It’s a “solution” as old as time, the old box of rat poison, but modern experts consider it to be a less than ideal solution for handling a rat infestation. Why? First of all, there’s an inhumane factor to consider. If rat poison was fast-acting and painless, then yes, maybe rat poison would be a worthwhile option, but as it is, rat poison is slow-acting, often taking several hours for the rat to die, during which time, the rat is in agony.

Secondly, poison is an unfortunate choice as far as you, the homeowner, are concerned. A poisoned rat starts behaving rashly. Terrified and vulnerable, the rat will seek out shelter, to protect himself against potential predators in his time of weakness. This often leads to rats in the walls, or inside the pipes, which is often where the rat will die. This results in odors that are not only unpleasant to you but may also attract other wild animals to your property, causing more trouble.

Lastly, you will need to hire a professional to remove the dead rat from inside the wall/vent/pipe, which will cause significant damage, as well as carry a significant cost.

A secondary issue with using poison to get rid of rats is that it doesn’t address the issue of entry, or what attracted the rat to your home in the first place. And as long as you leave those unattended, you’re just looking at more rat infestations shortly.

So if you thought that leaving out a little poison-laced peanut butter was an ideal solution to your rat problem, think again. There was a time when, for lack of a better option, killing intrusive rats was considered the only option. But that time has long gone.

What can you do, instead of rat poison?

1. Try live trapping

Live trapping is by far one of the most preferable ways to deal with an invasive rodent (or indeed, any intrusive wild animal) since they are a humane, yet efficient alternative to poison. Live traps are essentially cages that use a familiar bait system to attract the rodents inside. Most commonly, you’ll want to use peanut butter, to attract the rat.

Once inside, the rat will step on a trigger plate that will cause the door of the cage to fall shut, effectively trapping the rodent within. Once the rat has been trapped (and we do recommend checking on the trap often to avoid unnecessary delay), you can use the cage to transport the rat to a new location, where it won’t bother you.

2. Hire a professional

If you want your rodent situation dealt with with a minimum amount of hassle involved, then by far your best option would be to hire a professional wildlife removal expert. Thanks to serious experience, they will be able to rapidly assess the situation in your home, and determine the best course of action.

They will figure out how the rat got in, and what might’ve attracted it to your home in the first place, so not only are they capable of ridding you of your rodent problem, but they can also contribute to future prevention. Most professional wildlife removal companies will also offer sanitation and cleanup services, to remove every trace of the rodent’s presence.

And don’t worry – many rodent removal experts nowadays primarily employ non-lethal, humane trapping and removal options, so you don’t have to hurt the rat during removal. While you’re able to try several humane removal options yourself, such as live trapping, you don’t have any guaranteed efficiency, as you would from a professional wildlife removal company. So our advice would be, just save yourself a lot of trouble, and contact a pro.

3. Exclusion methods

Exclusion methods are another of those humane wild animal removal options that you can try on your own, though once again, with limited efficiency. The way an exclusion device works is it acts as a sort of gate that you install over the animal’s entry point. Of course, to do this, you’ll first need to identify the rat’s entry point. The exclusion device will allow the rat to go out through the hole (which it will frequently need to do to procure food and water), but not to re-enter.

What to do after you get rid of the rat

So ideally, hire a professional rat removal company, and watch your rodent problem handled quickly and efficiently. Alternatively, try your hand at DIY rat removal, but don’t forget that future prevention is just as important as the rat removal process itself.

Once the rat has been removed from your property, make sure you run proper disinfection and cleaning, to remove any potential health hazards. Also try to invest in cleaning, clean your home more frequently, and eliminate potential attraction points, such as easily accessible food or water sources (think pet food bowls, leaky pipes or taps, etc.). Fix entry points, such as cracks or holes in the walls, to avoid future rat infestations.

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