Rid of Rats: Prevention and Control
We can help prevent or get rid of rats in our neighborhoods. Here are some important basics.
Is it Rats?
How to know if rats are in your yard
Get Rid of Places Rats Live
- Cover openings ½ inch or larger with concrete, sheet metal or hardware cloth.
- Screen basement windows and other windows that are within three feet of the ground with hardware cloth.
- Cover basement drains with hardware cloth or a drain cover.
- Patch holes around wires and pipes with sheet metal or concrete patching.
Seal and Snug
- Doors should fit snugly, not more than 3/8 inch from the door frame.
- Basement windows should fit tightly and have no broken panes.
- Seal up enclosed spots such as between walls, crawl spaces, under porches, and around boxed-in plumbing.
Clean Up Your Yard
- Have junk, like old cars and appliances, hauled away. Call 311 about collecting bulk items.
- Stack building materials, lumber and fire wood at least 18 inches off the ground.
- Remove leaves, branches and other yard waste.
- Keep grass and weeds cut low (under 12 inches).
Get Rid of Food Sources
Sources in the Yard
- Clean up pet feces every day.
- Don’t leave dog/cat food or water outside.
- Clean up bird food on ground.
- Pick up fallen tree fruit or garden vegetables.
- Clean up garbage on the ground.
- Bag your trash.
- Keep lids closed on garbage containers.
- Put garbage out the night before or early morning.
- Report damaged city trash cans or dumpsters to 311.
- Empty and rinse recyclables and keep lid closed.
- Rodent proof your bin.
- Pick bin type that prevents rats getting inside.
- Locate far away from house.
- Bury food deep in the pile.
- Don’t compost meats, dairy or greasy foods.
- More on composting to prevent rodents
Remove Rats If All Else Fails
- Call a professional exterminator.
- Use traps made for rats, not mice. Glue traps are not recommended.
- If you use rat poison, follow the label very carefully. Pets are an important part of the family, so use caution because pets are at high risk of being poisoned too.
Report Complaint or Ask Questions
Call 311 (614-645-3111)
Centers for Disease Control
"Getting Rid of Rats" handout