When winter comes to Montgomery County, some homeowners have to work hard to keep rats away. It can feel like an uphill battle to get rid of rats, but there are some action steps you can take to keep them at bay.
This guide will help you understand what attracts rats inside and how to keep your home rat-free.
What Do Rats Do in the Winter?
Here in Montgomery County, we can experience average low temperatures of 25 degrees in the month of January. Much like humans, rats want to find a warm and cozy place to nest and sleep.
Not to mention, our average 18” of snow during the winter sends rats in overdrive to find a new warm home.
Contrary to popular belief, rats do not hibernate. They typically try to seek shelter from the warmth inside of buildings, barns, or homes.
If they cannot get access to this type of shelter, they will burrow inside the ground to keep warm. They are experts at digging tunnels, just like many other rodents.
To survive the winter, they need to eat about double the quantity of food than they do in the warmer months. They will go on the hunt for food and stockpile whatever they can find. Keep in mind that rats will eat just about anything, including garbage and nearly all types of human food.
This food is stored inside their burrows unless they’ve already camped inside your home for the winter.
How Do Rats Get Inside Your Home?
If you want to get rid of rats in Montgomery County, it’s important to consider how they access your home in the first place.
Rats can figure out creative ways to get inside. They will gnaw through wood, wires, and insulation. Rats can chew through drywall to get into your home. In fact, rats are also noted for their ability to chew through aluminum, brick, and even sheetrock.
Rat’s teeth are always growing, so they have to constantly chew on just about anything they can find. A rat’s bite is also surprisingly powerful at 6,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.
While chewing is a common way for rats to get inside your home, this isn’t their only access point. They can squeeze through cracks and holes in your home’s foundation, slip through open doors, and even climb trees to get access to your attic.
What Attracts Rats Inside?
Rats are primarily attracted to your home for two reasons: food and warmth. This is especially true in the winter when temperatures turn cold and food is scarce.
Here is a rundown on what causes rats to make their way inside:
- Food and water: When rats can’t find food or water, they will search for any resources they can find to survive. Garbage cans and empty food boxes can lure rats to your home. Furthermore, leaky pipes can also draw rats inside. If they can’t find access to fresh water and their outdoor resources are frozen, they will turn to pipes as a water source.
- Pet waste: If there isn’t snow on the ground, be mindful of how much waste is in your yard during the winter. We mentioned earlier that rats eat anything, and this includes pet feces.
- Easy access: While rats won’t knock on the door and invite themselves inside, they will take advantage of any access they can find. This includes broken windows, access points in your foundation, attic vents, and more.
Top Tips to Keep Rats Away
How can homeowners keep rats away when they are motivated to move into your home? There are several effective (and ineffective) approaches, such as the following.
Keep Food Containers Sealed
One place to start to get rid of rats is to keep your food containers sealed. This includes food like cereals, crackers, and anything else that might have an open container. You will also want to properly seal and store your pet food.
Block Easy Access Points
Take a walk around the outside of your home. Do you notice cracks and holes in your foundation? How about broken windows in your basement? If you notice these issues, repair them immediately so rats can’t get inside.
Keep Your Garbage Sealed
Make sure your garbage cans are fitted with a tight lid. This applies to outdoor and indoor trash cans. Otherwise, rats can sniff out the food and will keep it on their menu for the long term.
Address Leaky Pipes
Cutting off the water source will have rats scrambling and scurrying away. Like humans and other animals, they cannot survive long without water.
How to Get Rid of Rats in Montgomery County
Once you take away what rats can access in your home, you still might find yourself with unwanted visitors. Even worse, you might ultimately deal with an infestation.
Rat infestations can occur quickly because they rapidly reproduce. They can breed once they reach the age of 9 weeks old and may produce up to 30-60 offspring per year.
When you want to get rid of rats for the long term, the best course of action is bringing in a professional rat pest control team. Rodent control in and around your home is critically important because of diseases carried by these animals. They can also cause extensive and costly damage to your home.
You can keep rats away with our easy removal process, which includes:
- Identifying areas where rats can get into your home
- Working with you to seal access points where rats can get inside
- Uncovering the exact source of why rats are attracted to your home
- Use targeted and effective treatments to eliminate rats and infestations
When you seriously want to get rid of rats, we suggest doing away with rat poisoning. The rats can die in an undetected space in your home and become a nightmarish breeding ground for flies. You will also have to worry about removing the carcass, which can still spread disease.