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Why Are Rats Attracted to My House?

Wild rats and mice are pretty much universally unwelcome in our homes, so why are they attracted to come inside? It’s a question that you might ask yourself, and it’s actually a great place to start when you want to rid yourself of any pests; once you understand the factors that are contributing to the infestation, you can better ‌deal with them.

This month at Pest Defence, we’ll talk about the different things that attract rats to your home, with tips on how to deal with the issues at hand.

Common brown rats in UK

Things that attract rats into your home

On their most basic level, there are two things you can identify that attract rats and mice: food and shelter. And understandably, these two factors become even more critical for rats during winter, a time when it’s cold and there may be fewer food sources available.

So, if your home represents space for creatures to come in from the wind and rain, while also providing food in the form of crumbs or leftovers yet to be disposed of, you’re quite likely to encounter rats.

Before coming into your home, however, rats will most likely be attracted to your property in general by several things. Here are the common things attracting rats to your property:

  • Bird feeders – While they’re undoubtedly great for attracting birds to your garden, they’re also potentially enticing local rodents. Even if hung somewhere that the rats can’t reach, any seeds the birds accidentally drop present a meal for a hungry rodent.
  • Water sources – Any body of water, from large things like swimming pools to small items like dog bowls, are an open invitation to rats and mice looking for a place to quench their thirst. Keep pools covered and bring bowls inside when not in use.
  • Leaves and logs – What you might see as natural things to have in your garden, rats see as a place to shelter. Getting under piles of old leaves and logs means they have somewhere relatively safe to hide. Tidy up and throw away foliage, and if you keep logs for firewood, make sure they have an enclosed space to be kept in.
  • Open bins – Whether by accident or because you feel it’s more convenient when you want to throw things out, an open bin is a jackpot for rodents. Free food and somewhere to shelter is the dream scenario for them, so keep your bin lids closed at all times.
  • Fruit trees – Having a fruit tree in your garden means free fruit for you, but if you don’t tidy up all the dropped fruit, it will also present the opportunity of free food to rats as well. You can either remove the tree if you don’t like the fruit or simply pick up the fruit that falls instead of letting it sit on your lawn.
  • Furniture – While frequently-used garden furniture is unlikely to make a comfortable home for skittish rodents, anything discarded or left to deteriorate outside will start to look like a safe haven. Properly dispose of old furniture and put any items that you want to keep in a shed or garage.

But what if it’s not your fault? 

One other reason rats might be making their way to your property could be down to your neighbours. If a neighbour’s garden, or a parcel of neighbouring land, is left unkempt, overgrown and filled with litter or waste, then rats will naturally be drawn to the general area, making them more likely to come sniffing around your property because of proximity. The best way to solve this is to speak with your neighbours or the landowner about the issue to see if they can rectify the situation. If that doesn’t work, you may have to notify your local council.

 

How to prevent attracting rats

Now you know the ‌things that draw rats to your property, you can take action to reduce the risk. But if you’ve kept your garden clean and clear, and you still find rats inside your property, it could be a sign that you need to take greater care indoors too. We suggest doing the following:

  • Tidy and clean regularly
  • Never leave food out – tidy all crumbs and dropped grains straight away
  • Check for cracks and entrance routes in the structure of your house and seal them
  • Keep the exterior of your home in good repair 
  • Get a cat – they don’t all chase mice and rats, but they’re a good deterrent generally

 

What to do if you have already spotted rats

Whether you’ve seen the rats with your own eyes or you’ve noticed signs of their presence (droppings, gnawing, rub marks and more), you should take immediate action. We recommend that you engage the services of a professional pest control company to ensure the issue is taken care of legally and efficiently.

It’s important that you deal with any pest infestation, especially with rodents, since they can bring with them a number of diseases and bacteria (something we’ve covered previously). At Pest Defence, we’re experts when it comes to the elimination of rats and mice. Our discreet and knowledgeable team has the skills and tools to restore order to your home once more in the Essex and London regions – including Chelmsford, Colchester and Brentwood.

Call today if you have rats on your property and would like them eliminated swiftly.

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