Do you have rats in your garage? Rats can be a major nuisance, and they can also cause severe property damage. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get rid of rats in your garage – and keep these rodents out for good. Read more here!
What You'll Learn Today
How to Tell if You Have Rats in Your Garage?
Rats are common pests in the home – and that includes the garage. If you just have one or two rodents passing through, you may not even notice them. However, once the numbers of rats in your garage start to increase, the signs of infestation are going to be obvious.
Rats aren’t usually seen in the open during the day, but if their populations are rising, they may be forced out of their normal spots and out into the open spaces of your garage.
In addition to actually spotting rats themselves, you may find yourself dealing with problems such as:
- The appearance of dead rats
- Rat droppings, usually around food, pet food, or trash
- Scratching noises
- Finding nests or piled-up nesting materials in corners or other hidden areas
- Gnawed wires or wood
- Burrows near the garage or home
- Smudge marks
- Rodent hairs
Why Am I Getting Rats in My Garage?
To understand the best techniques for getting rid of rats in the garage, it’s most helpful to consider why they are there in the first place.
More often than not, rats come into the garage looking for food. These aren’t picky eaters – they’ll consume anything that provides nourishment, including rotting trash in your garbage bins. They also love to eat nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Rats may also come indoors looking for water. If you have any leaky pipes or drains, these are likely to attract rats, too.
Another attraction? Cluttered or tiny spaces. These not only provide a source of warmth for the rats, but they also provide shelter. When your garage is cluttered and filled with debris, it’s far more likely to attract rodents.
Finally, know that if you had a problem with rats in the past, you’re far more likely to deal with an infestation in the future. Rats often leave behind nesting materials or residues – the smell of this residue alone is often enough to attract new rats later on.
How Do I Keep Rats Out of My Garage?
If you want to keep rats out of the garage, there are a few steps you should take to prevent them – and to remove an infestation.
Avoid Attracting Them
The easiest way to get rid of rats in the garage? Prevent attracting them in the first place. There are a few things you can do to accomplish this goal.
For one, you should avoid storing food in the garage whenever possible – that goes for both packaged and unpackaged food. Anything edible should stay out of the garage. Similarly make sure you don’t have any leaking pipes or other sources of water.
Keep your garage as tidy as possible. Remove clutter and keep the area well-swept. Take a look around your garage and ask yourself – could I hide there if I was a rat?
Seal Them Out
Make sure your garage is sealed up as tightly as possible. Rats can fit into holes that are surprisingly small, so make sure any cracks and gaps are sealed up with caulk or wire mesh. Of course, you should try to avoid leaving your garage door open, too. Look for any damages on the garage door – if it has a rubber seal, check it regularly, since rats like to chew on these.
Take a special look at the attic as you’re sealing up the rest of your home. Often rat infestations start in the attic and migrate to the garage or other areas of your home. Usually, this occurs because tree branches are touching the building. Trim back all branches and make sure cracks and gaps are sealed in all areas of the home – not just the garage.
Intrigued? Here’s a video with more helpful tips on how you can keep rats out of your garage:
Use Rat Traps
Rat traps are inexpensive and easy to use. They also aren’t toxic in any way so you can leave them out for long periods of time without worrying about accidentally poisoning a member of your household.
Whether baited or unbaited, however, it’s important to regularly inspect your traps to make sure insects or other animals aren’t attracted to the dead rat or to the bait.
There are a few different types of traps you can use, including snap traps, live traps, and glue boards. Snap traps are inexpensive wooden or plastic traps that are meant specifically to catch these large rodents – just make sure you choose ones that are designed specifically for rats to make sure the rats are killed and not injured.
Live traps take advantage of a rat’s natural proclivity toward wandering into small holes. They let rats get in but not out via a wind-up mechanism. If you trap rats this way, you can release them elsewhere later on.
Finally, glue board traps are another option, but they tend to be the least effective method of rat control. Large rodents can often pull themselves out of the glue or even drag the board away if they’re only hooked by the foot.
What Scent Will Keep Rats Away?
Scents may not get rid of rats that are already living in your garage, but they can go a long way in preventing them from coming indoors in the first place (especially when combined with the other techniques described above).
Rats have a very powerful sense of smell. You can repel them by putting out scents such as clover onion, garlic, hot pepper, ammonia peppermint, white vinegar, eucalyptus oil, and citronella oil. Just keep in mind that some of these scents are so unpleasant that they may prevent you from wanting to spend any time in your garage, too!
Get a Cat
Cats aren’t just good at hunting down mice – they are also extremely efficient rat hunters. Consider bringing a cat home to get rid of rats, especially if you have quite a few that have set up shop in your garage. Just remember that this is a commitment – you’ll need to care for the cat long after the rats are gone, too.
If you don’t like the idea of that, consider putting out some predator (cat) scent. You’ll get much of the benefit of owning a cat – the mere smell of a feline visitor is often enough to prevent rats from setting up shop – without the commitment.
What Kills Rats Instantly?
If you want to kill rats instantly, you may want to use bait. However, know that these can sometimes be hazardous, depending on the type you use, so you’ll want to use them with caution.
Baiting traps with things like nuts, pet food, or dried meat aren’t usually harmful. You’ll attach a bait to a trap with glue, wire, or even string. It is the type of soft baits that use rodenticides or those that are structured as bait stations that can be harmful.
Rodenticides kill rodents instantly but can also poison pets and children if they come into contact with them. Use these with extreme care.
Rats can be a nuisance – and a health hazard, regardless of where they are in your home. The good news is that if you have rats in your garage, there are some things you can do to get rid of them. Consider using traps, poison, or exclusion methods (or a combination of these techniques) to get rid of these pests.
And if you’re still not sure what to do? Contact a professional exterminator for advice. They’ll be able to tackle the problem head-on and help you get rid of rats in your garage – fast.