You pull in to your home after a nice evening out and step out of your car only to see this big mouse run right in front of you heading for your house… oh wait a minute, that is not a mouse, that is a rat! Why on earth is a rat in your yard? You own a nice home, live in a nice neighborhood, you have a clean yard… this can’t be right! Unfortunately, it is. More suburban neighborhoods are running into rat issues in the past couple of years now that rats are moving into the outskirts of Buffalo and into neighborhoods that have never had issues before. Besides the fact that rats can get to be the size of small cats, they are also a bit more complicated than mice to eliminate. They are smarter than the mouse and are more timid and cautious in new surroundings. They will use extra care in approaching anything out of place (such as freshly baited snap traps!) whereas a mouse will think he has won the lottery and jump right in to his demise. There are several ways to prevent these critters from making your yard their oasis and changing just a few habits around your home can keep them from moving in.
- Keep pet waste cleaned up daily. Rats are very attracted to dog droppings and use them as a food source. Yes, it is gross. But very true!
- Ditch the bird seed. While the chirping and flying around can be very peaceful, it can also be a welcome sign for rats. They love bird seed and will want to stick around to watch the birds empty a large portion of the seed container onto the ground below. If you can’t live without them, keep a catch basin below the feeder and make sure any seed is picked up off the ground regularly.
- Keep brush off the ground and landscaping clean. Overgrown bushes close to the ground provide excellent shelter and living space for them. Rats will dig out the bushes root system to create their burrows. Leaf debris also provides great harborage for rats and keeping this clean.
- Check door sweeps on your garage overhead door and man door. Often times, the seal will deteriorate or the concrete will crack and allow for an entry for rodents to get in. Install new door sweeps if needed to prevent access.
- Look for burrows. Holes around the exterior foundation of your house the size of an orange or even larger can indicate a rat issue. If you are concerned these are active burrows, cover the hole with several leafs just inside the hole and wait a day or two. If the leaves are pulled out, something has gone in/out and it is a good idea to have a pest professional come and evaluate further.
- Always utilize your pest professionals at Eco Serve Pest Services for questions or concerns about rodents, insects, and more in and around your home!