How to Get Rid of Rats: Rat Control Strategies that Work

How to get rid of rats? These often unwelcomed intruders in our homes, can cause considerable disruption and discomfort; however, effective rat control is possible through understanding their habits and vulnerabilities. 

This guide emphasises early detection of infestations, proactive strategies to keep rats out, and long-term prevention techniques. Additionally, we will explore baiting solutions. 

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Table Of Contents:

How to Get Rid of Rats By First Determining if It's Possum or Rat Activity

To determine if you need Rat Control, you first need to identify if you are dealing with Possums or Rats.

Possums are nocturnal, so will typically be out foraging for food and water between 11 pm and 3 am, so during these hours, you're unlikely to hear any noises associated with them. 

They tend to follow a consistent routine, leaving at the same time at night, between dusk and 11 p.m. and returning at roughly the same time the following morning, between 3 a.m. and dawn.

While you might occasionally hear them turning or scratching in the roof during the day, it will only be for a few seconds; there won't be any running, scurrying or constant scratching, which is more indicative of rat activity.

Therefore, if you are hearing noises between 11 pm and 3 am, we can conclude it will be rat activity, in which case it is paramount that you carry out rat control treatments.


How to Get Rid of Rats by Spot Signs of Rat Activity

In Australia, there are two common types of rat; the Brown rat, scientifically named Rattus norvegicus, goes by various aliases, including street rat, sewer rat, wharf rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, and Norwegian rat, and is typically grey-brown with a long tail and large ears.

They have blunt noses and are usually about 20cm long – not including the tail. But size isn’t everything; behaviour also plays a big part in identification.

Black rats, also known as ship rats or roof rat due to their preference for high places, differ slightly in appearance from brown ones. They're smaller (about 16cm) and have pointy noses and larger ears compared to body size.

Rat infestations are more common than you might think. But how can you tell if these bothersome rodents have invaded your property so you can take measures for rat control?

The first clue is often the sight of rat droppings. These small, dark pellets may be scattered around your kitchen or in corners.

You might also spot signs of gnawing on food packages or wooden structures within your home. Rats have strong teeth, and they'll chew through almost anything.

Noises from within walls or ceilings at night can be another giveaway. Rats are nocturnal creatures, so any scurrying sounds during the evening could mean an unwelcome guest. 

If you find nests made from shredded paper or fabric in secluded areas, it's a sure sign that you have a rodent problem. They like to nest in warm, hidden places such as lofts and under floorboards.

For property owners, rats carry health issues as rats spread diseases and are also destructive and chew electrical wires and electrical wiring throughout your home or building, which makes them not just annoying but potentially harmful.

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How to Get Rid of Rats Prevention Strategies

How to get rid of rats and effective rodent solutions begin with understanding your enemy. Rats are crafty creatures, but you can outsmart them by adopting simple strategies.

Rats, as any seasoned rodent pest control company will tell you, love food and warmth. So, keeping food stored securely and blocking off cosy nesting spots are essential starting points.

  • Use metal or thick plastic containers for storage - rats have sharp teeth capable of gnawing through most materials.
  • Maintain the cleanliness of your property to remove potential sources of food for these rodents.
  • Seal gaps in walls, doors or roofs where rats could squeeze into your property - they only need a gap 25mm in size.

The more of an obstacle you make it for them, the less probable they will remain.

How to Get Rid of Rats Using Deterrents

Short answer: No. There are numerous commercial deterrents available that state they will give added protection against rats; these include ultrasonic devices or sprays. 

There is no conclusive evidence these work.

How to Get Rid of Rats Exclusion Techniques

Rodent control methods start with thoroughly inspecting your property. This means checking for cracks in walls, loose tiles and any other possible entrances. Seal off all potential entry points larger than 25mm in diameter. 

Sealing up these access points is helpful to control rodent infestations; though it isn't always feasible, an approach to always include rat baiting is best.

How to Get Rid of Rats by Trimming Trees and Shrubs

Rats can jump roughly 300mm; all trees, shrubs and hedges must be cut back at least 300mm from the gutter line, especially overhanging branches. 

Eliminating these climbing routes for rodents and keeping them trimmed will make sure they don't get an easy path into your house. A persistent Rat will find a way, this will only slow them down.

How to Get Rid of Rats With Gutter Guard and Valley Guard

If rats have access to the roof, they may be able to get in through the gutter lines or roof valleys. 

To guard against rats, leaf matter, possums and snakes, you could install a good quality Gutter and Roof Valley protection product, preferably made of heavy-duty colour bond steel mesh. 


How to Get Rid of Rats by Filling Holes & Gaps

To fill smaller openings, the internet says you can use materials like steel wool or caulk. Larger gaps may need more robust solutions like sheet metal or snake-proof mesh.

This task requires a mammoth undertaking and careful attention because overlooking even one hole could lead to rats gaining access to your property. It is more feasible to use a bait treatment.

How to Get Rid of Rats by Installing Pipe Guards

Installing snake-proof mesh guards on pipes, especially those close to the ground or leading into the house from outside helps prevent rodents from climbing and gaining access indoors. Making sure that all potential pathways are blocked will significantly improve your success at keeping rats away permanently.

How to Get Rid of Rats With Rat Bait

Pest control treatment plans using bait are a tried and tested method to control rat populations. The right bait will appeal to rats and is one of the quickest, most efficient rat control methods. 

Several types of bait are available on the market. These include grain baits, protein-based baits, and sweet-tasting ones. Your choice will depend on what the rats in your area prefer eating.

For safety, use tamper-resistant bait stations to keep pets and children away from potentially hazardous rat baits. The station's design lets rats enter freely but keeps larger animals out due to its narrow entranceways.

If you're unsure about handling toxic materials or need more effective solutions, professional rat pest control companies can give expert advice and assistance.

In our experience at Possum Piper, we've found that a well-placed commercial-grade rodenticide yields excellent results for many customers who had significant infestations initially.


How to Get Rid of Rats Using Rat Traps

Rat traps vary greatly, each designed to suit different needs. They can be broadly categorised into these main types: snap traps, live catch traps, and electric rat traps. 

These all require you to manage the dead rats after they have been caught or killed with varying degrees of "ick" factor.

Getting rat traps ready is not just about setting and leaving them. Prepping properly is key for obtaining the optimal outcome when setting rat traps.

Identifying the best location to set your rat trap can be crucial. Remember, rats like areas that offer safety and cover. 

So, think about places such as behind furniture or appliances, along walls or in hidden corners. Handling rat traps calls for care. To avoid harm, use gloves when setting and disposing of the trap.


DIY Rat Control

If you feel comfortable placing the bait stations yourself,  you can purchase the professional grade bait and bait stations from, they also have a handy free measuring tool so you know how many bait stations you will need for your building. 

How to Get Rid of Rats Engaging Professional Rat Control Services

Rat problems can spiral out of control quickly, but professional rat removal services by a trained rat exterminator are here to help. Skilled personnel boasting a wealth of expertise, are ready to take on even the most difficult rat infestations.

The first step is a thorough property inspection. Experts look for signs such as droppings or gnawing marks, which indicate an active rat population.

Trained technicians use effective methods to control rats, making sure that no harm comes to people or pets in the process.


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Maintain Cleanliness

Maintaining good cleanliness practices is essential to reducing the likelihood of rat infestations, as these rodents are attracted to areas with abundant food and shelter, so it's essential to make your property less inviting.

Rats are opportunistic feeders that thrive on leftover food scraps and unsealed bins. Regularly cleaning up any potential food sources can deter these pests from setting up a home on your premises.

If you have chickens or pets, clean up any feed regularly. rats will be attracted to the scattered food in chicken pens, rabbit or guinea pig hutches and Dog or cat food if left out.

A key aspect is managing waste effectively. This includes securing rubbish in tightly sealed containers and using regular council rubbish collection services.

Landscape Maintenance

Landscape maintenance is important, too. Overgrown gardens provide ideal hiding spots for rats; therefore, keeping vegetation trimmed helps keep them at bay.

Cleanup & Disposal Procedures

After successful rat control, the cleanup begins. It's crucial to dispose of any dead rats or remnants properly to prevent further infestations and diseases.

Start by donning protective gear such as gloves and masks. Rats can carry harmful pathogens, so it's best not to risk direct contact.

We suggest double-bagging the carcasses before disposing of them in a covered rubbish bin. This helps contain potential health risks associated with handling rodents.

Nesting materials should be disposed of similarly. But remember, if you find signs of more rats during your cleanup process, it might be time for another round of rat control measures.

Beyond physical cleaning, decontamination is key, too. You need an effective disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses potentially left behind by these pests. A professional service often offers this kind of thorough clean-up after their extermination work is done.

Safety First: Avoid Direct Contact

To reduce the risk of rodent-borne diseases while cleaning up, always use disposable rubber gloves.

Air Out The Area

The area where you found rat activity needs airing out, too. Before starting your cleanup job, open windows or doors near the affected space for at least 30 minutes for proper ventilation.

Ongoing Maintenance & Monitoring

Keeping rats away requires ongoing vigilance. Like a garden that needs constant care to bloom, rat control isn't a one-off task.

Stay alert for any signs of fresh invasions and act promptly if you observe them. Common indicators are gnaw marks, rub marks, noises or droppings. Don't delay in responding if you observe any indications of a problem.

Rats are cunning creatures; they adapt quickly and learn to avoid threats over time. This is why it's important not only to remove them but also to monitor them continuously so they don’t return. We recommend keeping the bait stations full of bait at all times; even if there are no active rats, they don't take long to take over if the bait strategy has lapsed. 

Persistence is key.

How to Get Rid of Rats Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most effective rat control?

The best rat control combines prevention, baiting, and professional services. 

How do you get rid of rats fast?

To quickly remove rats, hire a professional service to place bait stations around the perimeter of your building. For rat control treatment services in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast Possum Piper can resolve your issue.

How do you really get rid of rats?

A comprehensive plan includes identifying signs of infestation, implementing exclusion techniques, using baits, cleaning up properly and regularly monitoring for new activity.


How to Get Rid of Rats and safeguarding your home against rat infestations requires a multi-faceted approach. Identifying the early signs is crucial so swift action can be taken. 

Remember, rat baiting solutions should be used sensibly, and considering professional rat control services is a wise decision. Maintaining cleanliness, implementing proper waste management, and regular landscape upkeep are paramount. Rodent-proofing your property further strengthens your defences.

After any rat encounter, prioritise safe cleanup and disposal procedures, ensuring you avoid direct contact. Don't forget to air out the affected area. 

Lastly, ongoing maintenance and monitoring are essential for a rat-free environment. With these practices in place, you can enjoy a truly rodent-proof home.

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