Attics are famous for attracting wildlife, especially rats, because of their remote, stuffy nature. They might not seem like ideal living quarters to you, but to a rat, a cramped room offers all the perfect hiding holes it might want. Not only that, but most people rarely venture up into the attic, which naturally means a rat living up there has less chances of being discovered and killed. Lastly, they’re difficult to access by larger predators, which means the rats stay fairly safe. If you were a rat, you’d want to live in your attic, too.
But since you’re not, you’re probably wondering what to do to prevent that from happening. Well, here are a bunch of ideas that you can handle all by yourself, though they focus more on prevention than on removal. If you’ve already got rats in your attic, the best course of action is probably calling a wildlife removal professional like Woodlands Wildlife Texas.
So, how can you rat-proof your attic?
1. Look for cracks and holes
When considering a rat in your attic, it’s paramount that you first stop and wonder how it got up there. It didn’t just materialize in your attic, it probably crawled in through a crack in the wall. It’s not uncommon for your walls, and particularly your roofing, to suffer cracks and holes along with the passage of time. This is why it might be a good idea to go up to your attic at least once per season (more if there are big storms), and check the walls and roof. Be on the lookout for even the smallest cracks, as they may be enough to allow a rat, or a mouse through. If you do discover a crack in the wall, you’ll want to seal it with material that a rat won’t then be able to chew through. Think spray foam, or wire mesh.
2. Reduce clutter
The main issue with stuffy attics is that once you start storing things up there, it gets really easy to just chuck stuff you no longer need up there to figure out later. That creates clutter, which in turn creates ideal nooks and crannies for a rat to hide in. This is why it’s wise to set aside some time at least once or twice a year, to de-clutter. Whether you choose to Marie Kondo it, or simply resolve to throw out some junk you haven’t used in ages, every little bit helps. Because the less stuff there is, the less space for a rat to hide in.
3. Step up your storage
For the stuff you do decide to keep, you’ll want to make sure you’re using proper storage mechanisms. Don’t just dump stuff in a cardboard box and leave it up there. You’ll want to seal any organic material that might make a nice rat’s nest. Cotton, paper, wood, and even attic insulation can all make nice little nesting spaces, so seal as much of it as you can in airtight plastic containers, to deter rats from building up their new home.
4. Spruce up your yard
Because a good step in protecting your attic is first considering how the rodents are getting up there in the first place. Rats like to climb the trees in your yard, and then scuttle across long branches that lead straight to your roof. That’s what happens when the surrounding trees are left unattended. So if you want to discourage rodents and pests in general from entering the home, you’ll probably want to trim your nearby trees, as well as your lawn. Rats are less likely to frequent yards with short, neat lawn, as this exposes them to predators.
5. Remove food sources
Lastly, consider why the rats are here, in the first place. Most won’t just stop by if you’ve got a nice attic. They also look for nearby food and water sources. These may mean exposed trash cans, pet bowls left outside, or even improperly stored food. So inspect the home and be on the lookout for anything a rat might deem edible. Then seal or throw it away, and watch your rodent problem take care of itself. Rats won’t choose to live in a home that doesn’t offer food or water.