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Rats will readily move into attics, basements, wall voids and any place where they find shelter and a good meal. Pet food, bird seed and vegetable gardens can all attract rats to any house. And once they find a good place to feed, it won’t be long till they move inside. If you’ve got rats in the attic, on your deck or suspect they’re…. READ MORE ON ROOF RAT CONTROL

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I have pack rats eating my outdoor cushions.  Can this be used on fabric without problems?

Clearly rats like to chew things as explained in our RAT CONTROL ARTICLE. This is quite normal out in the wild but when they are allowed to exist in close proximity to a building, chances are high that the building itself or something around or inside the building will become a “chew” target. My guess is there must be something close by which is luring them in like bird seed, pet food or some other abundant food source. If rats are frequenting your yard for food, chewing and gnawing will be a problem.

To stop them from chewing something specific, give it a good dose of ROPEL SPRAY. This bad tasting agent will get them to stop and move on to something more palatable. And take the time to treat anything else close by you think they might target. Likely objects rats like to chew include house siding, small trees, automobiles, garden hoses and most any yard furniture.

Ultimately you might have to either restrict the amoun of food available in the area to help cut down on the rat activity. If this can’t be done, one of the trapping methods used to reduce the local population might be in order. Rats chewing furniture cushions isn’t nearly as bad compared to what can happen once they target house wiring and other sensitive objects.

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I see what I think are rat burrows in my crawl space. There are holes I’m seeing in the soil, about 3 inches wide, and trails which seem to be mostly against the foundation wall leading around two sides in the space. It looks like whatever is coming out of the holes is walking around down there and then coming up into the house!! I haven’t seen anything inside but they must be somewhere. What can I do?

What you’re describing does indeed sound like a rat. Norway rats are most likely to burrow or dig tunnels like you’re describing and they typically will forage up into the living area of the home if given the chance. I suggest you leave everything as is and trap them out.

To start trapping, it would be best if you were able to find or discover where they might be feeding. Typically rats will take advantage of bird seed or pet food. If you have either in the home, do a good inspection where you’re keeping it. Chances are your little unwanted friend is visiting this area and that’s where you will want to place out the rat trap. Look for droppings or other signs.

If you are unable to find any such location, I suggest you place some bird seed or pet food down in the crawl space, as close to the burrows as you can, to first make sure they are active. If you find this placement gets taken, set up one of our rat live traps with the same food in it as bait. In theory, you should be able to trap out all that are living in this area within a few days. Once removed, you can then close up all the tunnels by using dirt and a shovel or something to collapse them where visible. After that, inspect them weekly for a month to make sure they don’t reappear. If you don’t see any in a month, inspect the crawl space quarterly for a year to insure new rats don’t arrive. Since some found their way into the home it’s likely others will unless you set up some rat repellent around the outside of the building but don’t do this till you are sure the ones currently active have all been removed. As explained in our rat control article, the scent left by active rats will tend to attract new ones for a long time.

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I was looking at you roof rat trap selection and I’m trying to figure out which would be best for my situation. I’ve got several up in my attick and I don’t know if I should live trap or kill trap them. What do you suggest?

As our online roof rat article explains, using a kill trap is generally only effective when you’ve got 1-2 animals to trap. This is because rats will become trap shy when they see other rats dead in any kill trap. If you suspect there are more than two rats in the attic, use one of the rat trap live cages to insure trapped rats don’t become suspect of what you’re using. Our live traps will catch rat after rat as long as you fill the trap with seed when making the set. Trapped roof rats should be relocated or destroyed to insure they don’t come back. Once the active population is removed, you can consider sealing off the attic to further rat invasions.