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  • Michael Perrino

6 Things That Attract Rats to Your House



Rats are the uninvited guests you don’t ever want to see scurrying in the home. These dirty pests bring destruction and disease wherever they go. To prevent them from building a nest in your home, it’s important to make sure that there’s nothing in the house that could possibly attract them.

So what are the things that invite rats to a home? Rats usually infest a house in search of the following:


  1. Food

  2. Shelter

  3. Waste

  4. Water

  5. Plants

  6. Nesting Materials


Once they find a place that can sustain any of these six items, there’s a good chance that rats will do everything they can to enter that property.

6 Things that Make Your Home Attractive to Rats

In 2015, the American Housing Survey conducted by the Census Bureau revealed that around 11% of households in the country reported signs of rat presence in their home. This is because human homes provide all the necessary things that rats need to survive. Here are six things in a home that might attract rats:


1. Different Kinds of Food


Rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat anything available to them. These rodents are always searching for a stable source of food, which is why unsealed garbage cans and leftovers on a kitchen counter are like a feast to them.

Rats that live outside will feed on vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and grains. Once they move inside a home, they usually target rice, oats, and cereal that are stored in thin plastics or boxes. They will also eat pet food which is left in the pet’s feeding station. Some rats can switch to a high-protein diet that requires them to hunt for insects, meat scraps, and smaller rodents like mice.


2. Warmth and Shelter


Like many warm-blooded creatures, rats want to experience warmth and comfort especially in the cold months of winter. They also need warm places when giving birth and raising young pups.

Since houses have fireplaces and heating systems, these pesky creatures are instantly attracted to the heat and comfort that human homes offer. They will do everything they can to enter a warm home and build a nest near the heating systems and other appliances. This can cause the appliances to short circuit or become damaged.


3. Pet Wastes and Open Garbage Cans


Rats are attracted to all types of food, even food already digested by a house pet. If you own a dog that plays in the yard, ensure that all their wastes are cleaned immediately. Spray water down on the smelly patches of grass to help diffuse the smell.

Keeping garbage cans open is basically inviting rats to a buffet. All trash cans and dumpsters near the house should be properly sealed to keep these pests away. Aside from the garbage cans outside the home, ensure that the ones inside the house are also emptied regularly.


4. Water Sources Like Leaky Pipes


Although small leaks in the water pipes might not seem like a big deal, it’s an opportunity for rats to secure a stable water source. Aside from leaky pipes, they can also be attracted to other containers that have a consistent supply of water, such as pet bowls and birdbaths.

To prevent these pests from festering the home because of water, ensure that all the pipes and hoses around the house are fixed. Dripping sprinkles and faucets should be replaced so that the rats will have one less reason to build a nest in the house.


5. Fruit Trees, Indoor Plants, and Other Vegetation


Since rats also feed on fruits and seeds, keeping plants inside the house and fruit trees in the yard will definitely attract some attention from these pests. Tall trees with branches that extend to the roof also serve as a pathway for roof rats to enter the home’s attic.

Aside from serving as a food source and pathway for rats, these plants can also provide the pests with nesting materials. Rats who live outside typically use grasses and twigs to build their homes. Once they move inside, they can carry these materials to create a cozy nest.


6. Clutter and Other Nesting Materials


For rats, clutter is almost as important as food because it provides them with shelter and protection from larger animals that might hunt them, like cats. The best places for rodents to build a nest in are those areas near food sources that also provide enough cover. Attics, sheds, garages, and basements all fit this description perfectly so watch out for rat nests in these areas.

Clutter is typically created with materials that rats can use for building nests. If you find a pile of unused paper that has gnaw marks at the edges, there’s a good chance that the rats already raided the room to gather materials for their nest.

3 Effective Ways to Keep Rats Out


In addition to fixing everything that may attract the rats to a home, it’s also important to have a few preventive measures in place. This ensures that rats will have lower chances of successfully entering your house. Here are three effective ways that can keep them out:

  1. Sealing All Entry Points – Rats won’t pass up a chance to enter the home especially if they spot a hole in the wall, even if it’s just as big as a quarter. Make sure to regularly inspect around the home for gaps that these pests may use to get inside. Seal these holes using materials that are hard for them to chew, such as wire wool.

  2. Storing Food in Thick Containers – Rats have strong teeth that make it easy for them to gnaw through thin plastic and cardboard. When you buy rice and cereals, keep them in thick containers with tight lids.

  3. Baiting and Trapping – Baits and traps are typically utilized by pest control companies to catch mice and rats in a property, but you can also buy easy-to-use ones in stores or online. Remember that there are different types of rodent traps, so do a bit of research first to find out which kind should be used for the home.

Call Midway Pest Management at the First Sign of Rat Infestation

Rats can breed rapidly, which is why it’s important to eliminate them as early as possible. Once you notice gnaw marks in different things, stolen food in the kitchen, and rat droppings all over the house, contact a professional exterminator immediately.

Here at Midway Pest Management, we offer quarterly service programs to ensure that rats won’t come back to your place for at least two years. Call us now at (913) 820 – 9737 to schedule a free inspection.


Read more: What Smell Drives Rats Away?


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