Rats need the same things we do to survive: food, water, and shelter. By eliminating these sources, rats will move on, won’t reproduce as fast or will die off.
Food Sources

Rats will eat just about anything. Don’t give rats an easy meal!

Garbage Icon

Household Trash & Garbage

Bag all trash and garbage, and store in heavy-duty trashcans with tight closing lids at all times. Make sure you have enough trashcans with tight closing lids to store all your trash and garbage, and DO NOT leave trash and garbage in bags on the ground. Only put trash out on the day of pickup. Be sure to clean up any litter that may have blown into your yard.

Bird Food Icon

Bird & Squirrel Food

If you are experiencing a rat issue, consider taking a break from feeding the birds or squirrels. If you do feed them, it is important to make sure extra bird/squirrel food is stored in a thick plastic sealed container with a lid indoors. Don’t put feed directly on the ground and clean up any that may have spilled from feeders every day.

Compost Icon

Compost Piles

If you compost, use a secure bin with a lid. Don’t compost greasy or protein rich foods such as bones, butter, or other animal or dairy products. Keep your compost bin away from your house and garbage cans. Look for signs of rats getting into your compost pile. If you have a rat problem, it is best to stop composting until the rat problem is eliminated.

Vegetable Garden Icon

Vegetable Gardens & Fruit Trees

Make sure to harvest your vegetables and fruits before rats have a chance to eat them. Pick up and throw out any tree fruit such as crab apples or wild berries that have fallen on the ground. In areas where rat problems are found, it may be best not to start or continue a vegetable garden, you are simply giving them assess to fresh foods.

Pet Poop Icon

Dog & Cat Poop

Rats will eat animal poop, so make sure to clean up after your dog and cat regularly!

Pet Food Icon

Pet Food

Cat or dog food left outside quickly turns into rat food. Feed pets indoors or only give your outdoor pet the amount of food it would eat in one setting. Clean up any leftover food and store food indoors in a thick plastic sealed container with a lid.

Grass Seed Icon

Grass Seed

If you are storing extra grass seed in your shed or garage, make sure to keep it in a secure container with a tight fitting lid.

Water Sources
Water Sources Icon
Rats need 0.5-1 oz. of water per day. Remove containers or other items that hold standing water. Level out low-lying areas of your yard that collect water. Many water sources for rats also serve as breeding habitat for mosquitos!
Shelter

Rats prefer to remain hidden from humans and other predators. Don’t give rats a place to hide!

Rat Burrow Icon

Rats will dig their burrows alongside the foundation of your home, underneath your shed or garage, and under your deck or patio. They prefer to have their burrow hidden by plants or other materials.

Firewood Icon

Firewood, lumber and other building materials can provide excellent shelter for rats if not stored property. Usable items should be stacked at least 18 inches off the ground and make sure to not stack these items against your house, shed, or fence. Keep grass and weeds trimmed. Keep shrubs and bushes trimmed at least 18 inches away from buildings or 18 inches off of the ground. Clear any debris that may be trapped under bushes.

Yard Waste Icon

Yard waste and brush should not accumulate on your property, but should be regularly and properly dispose of.

Fence Icon

Double fences between backyards can create a hidden rat freeway. Open up double fences or keep any weeds or vegetation between them trimmed and remove trash that may get trapped between fences.

Old Appliances and Furniture Icon

Abandoned vehicles, trailers, and old appliances and furniture can provide good hiding spots for rats. Contact your trash hauler to have any large bulk items removed.

Abandoned Dwelling Icon

Abandoned homes or buildings in your neighborhood can provide a great home for rats. If you suspect an abandoned home near your residence is sheltering rats, please report the address here.

Preventing Rats From Entering Your Home or Other Structures

Caulk Icon

Seal up any holes in your house, garage or other structure using hard silicone caulk. Soft and expanding foam materials do not work and can be easily chewed through.

Large Gaps Icon

If you want to fill larger gaps, only use steel wool/wire that is designed to exclude rats (it can be found at most hardware stores or online). Normal steel wool can be removed by rats. Use silicone caulk to keep the rat grade steel wool/wire in place.

Door Icon

Check for gaps under your door. Considering adding door sweeps if the gap is larger than 3/8”.

Garage Icon

Check your garage for points of entry. Rodents may sometimes chew the weather stripping at the bottom corners of your garage door to gain access. If your garage is accessible to rodents, make sure to repair the damaged areas and do not store unsecured food sources inside the garage.

Preventing Rats From Entering Your Home or Other Structures

Caulk Icon

Seal up any holes in your house, garage or other structure using hard silicone caulk. Soft and expanding foam materials do not work and can be easily chewed through.

Large Gaps Icon

If you want to fill larger gaps, only use steel wool/wire that is designed to exclude rats (it can be found at most hardware stores or online). Normal steel wool can be removed by rats. Use silicone caulk to keep the rat grade steel wool/wire in place.

Door Icon

Check for gaps under your door. Considering adding door sweeps if the gap is larger than 3/8”.

Garage Icon

Check your garage for points of entry. Rodents may sometimes chew the weather stripping at the bottom corners of your garage door to gain access. If your garage is accessible to rodents, make sure to repair the damaged areas and do not store unsecured food sources inside the garage.