A fire that ripped through a home in Canterbury recently was likely caused by exposed electrical wires arcing.
Fire crews were called to the blaze in Christchurch. Firefighters entered the property because they thought somebody was inside, it turned out nobody was home. The fire took about three hours to put out.
Investigations found it was likely caused by a cable that had been chewed by rats under the house. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case and is yet another cause of fire in the home we need to be wary of.
The top rule for using any rat trap is to use plenty of traps. You may need more traps than you think is warranted when trapping rats. Usually, the rat population is larger than expected.
Place rat traps in high-activity areas of the rat colony. These areas may include darkened corners, along walls, behind appliances and objects, and all areas where droppings are evident. Since rats need to touch surfaces as they move, place them accordingly.
Place rat traps spaced from 15-20 feet apart. Remember to place them touching a wall, since rats like to run along walls in order to avoid detection.
Since rats prefer enclosed, safe locations, use Bait Stations. This will shelter the rat; encouraging it to enter and protect non targeted animals and children from harm of the snap trap. You can get a cardboard box, cut holes in it and place it over the Snap Trap. This method is not tamper resistant, however.
Position rat traps to maximize the chances of rats to cross over the traps during their natural travels along their runways. Set snap traps extended at a right angle from a wall with the trigger end almost touching the wall. If rat traps are set parallel to the wall, set them in pairs with triggers situated to intercept the rats from either direction.
To trap Roof Rats, set traps on tree limbs, under vegetation on a backyard fence or trellis, or on other above ground locations roof rats are known to frequent. Traps can be fastened with wire to overhead pipes, rafters and beams.
Rats are often shy of new objects and the placement of unset traps in a new location for a week or two will increase the opportunities of catching.
Set out unset rat traps can be buried in grain, sawdust, or similar materials within a empty cardboard box or pie pan. Place the rat bait in small pieces near it and above it with the hidden trap below. Once the rats start taking the bait, set the traps. This will acclimate the rats to the traps, once acclimated, set enough traps to kill the a large percentage of the population before the rodents become “trap shy” . This is called mass trapping, trapping them at a higher rate than they can repopulate and become shy of the trap.
There may be a need to have as many as 2-3 dozen rat traps set in place in a commercial establishment, in an infested trash room, for example.
By having these rat traps baited, a large population would be use to feeding on around the traps. When the rat traps are then simultaneously set after a while of this “feeding”, a large kill can be obtained.
Even after setting out the unset rat traps and following the procedure, you may still have rats that will not go into the snap traps. There are alpha and beta rats in a rat population. The first rats to be caught in snap traps are the beta rats (inferior rats). The superior alpha rats are much more cautious around the snap traps. At this point, use a live trap. Rodenticides may be another choice for you at this point. Rodent baits (the strong single feed baits) are more costly, but will cause much more pressure on the rodent population as they readily take the bait and die.
1. Moth Balls
Moth balls tend to repel the rats. These are readily available in the market and are easy-to-use. Place a few in your attic to keep the rats away.
Note: Avoid placing these mothballs inside the house as its smell is harmful to humans. Take proper care that you do not touch it with bare hands.
Mix 2 spoons of detergent, a quarter glass of water and 2 cups of regular ammonia in a bowl. Place it where rats appear frequently. Since rats can’t stand the smell of ammonia; hence, this remedy will do the job.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil can be used to prevent rats as they can’t stand its pungent smell. All you have to do is dip some cotton balls in the peppermint oil and place them in the rat-prone area. It will surely give satisfactory results.
Alternatively, citronella and castor oil can also be used.
Or else, grow mint plants around the boundaries of your home.
4. Owl’s Feather
Owl’s feather will scare the rats and force them to run away. Try placing some owl’s feather inside the holes of these intruders.
Alternatively, if you can’t find one, keep some plastic snakes in your garden to get rid of rats in the yard.
The pungent smell of pepper makes it hard for the rats to breathe and threat their survival. Simply sprinkle some crushed pepper around the corners and the holes where they reside. You will notice positive results. Repeat the process if necessary.
6. Bay Leaf
Rats think of bay leaf as their food and tend to eat it. But, it actually kills them. Put some bay leaves in the rat-prone area. Keep repeating the process until all of them are gone.
It is a very effective remedy to get rid of rats naturally. The smell of onions is odious to these nasty rodents. Just slice an onion and keep it inside or near their holes.
8. Make Your Own Trap
Trapping is one of the best ways to get rid of rats fast. You can take a humane trap and put bait in it to attract the rat. Peanut butter and cheese are the rat’s favorite. As the rat tries to eat this, it will be caught in the trap. After this, you really need to kill it!
Note: You can add boric acid in the peanut butter to make it more effective.
Note: Wear latex gloves while using this remedy.
9. Dried Snake Litter/ Cat Litter
Buy some of the dried snake litter from a pet store or zoo and keep it near the places where rats are more likely to visit. Rats will not come there again because of the fear of snake.
Alternatively, you can also use cat’s litter.
Note: Keep it out of the reach of pets and children.
10. Human Hair
It may sound weird, but rats can’t bear the sight of the human hair. This can be an effective way to repel rats. Clip a few strands and throw them inside the holes of rats, or at the places they tend to visit the most. As the rats will eat the hair, they will die.
11. Cow Dung
It is a stinky process but one of the best ways to prevent these rodents. Take some cow dung cakes and spread them in your attic or garden. When rats eat the cow dung, it will inflame their stomach and lead them to die. Thus, helps get rid of rats outside the house.
Sound not only hurts them, but also makes their ears bleed. A sharp noise-making sound box is all you need to make them run away.
13. Baby Powder
Although this method is not that effective; however, you may try it once. Sprinkle the baby powder on the corners and around the rat-prone area. This powder intoxicates the rodents and helps you get rid of them to some extent.
14. Steel Wool
Want to get rid of rats in the walls? Create barriers using steel wool. It is harder for rats to nibble the steel wool. So, find out their access point and block the way.