How to get rid of rats and mice in the home

Think you may have a rat or mouse in the house? There are some tell-tale signs of rodents, as well as some tried-and-tested ways to get rid of rats and mice from your home. We cover both so you know exactly what to do if rodents have gained entry into your home (despite any efforts you may have made to keep rats and mice away).  

What are the typical signs there are rodents in my home?

There are some typical signs to look out for that could indicate that you are sharing your space with rats, mice or both. Learn how to control rats and mice in your home by keeping a close eye on the following 

  • Droppings: one of the early signs of the presence of rats are their droppings. If you see dark pellets about half an inch to three-quarters of an inch long in your home’s darkest corners and around the bases of walls, it could be a sign you have rats. Depending on the species of the rat in question, you may find the droppings are singular pellets, or grouped in clumps. Either way, if you discover greying droppings with a crumbly consistency, it is a sign that rodents have been living alongside you for quite a while. 
  • Urine: If you see urine trails or puddles – or what looks to be grease stains low on your walls and on your floor – it could be due to the natural oils and dirt on rodents’ fur rubbing on the surfaces. If the stains are small and barely distinguishable, you are likely dealing with mice rather than rats. Rodent urine has musty scent, so if you get a whiff the next time you open a small, enclosed space like your kitchen cupboard, it could be that a rodent has marked their territory. 
  • Evidence of gnawing: Rats are helpless nibblers that can bite through almost everything but glass, metal and thick plastic containers. Chew marks on food boxes, sacks or containers are usually a sure sign of a rat or mouse infestation. What you might not know is that rats’ teeth never stop growing. They nibble on non-edible materials to wear their teeth down, so you may find gnaw marks on items like soap and plastic water pipes. Make sure you carefully examine the areas around any pipes or faucets to check for signs of chewing and carry out any necessary repairs. If there is a rat colony in your home, you may also find teeth marks on exposed wooden surfaces, or sawdust and small chunks of wood near baseboards. 
  • Rat trails: If there are any areas of your home that you do not regularly dust, you may find paw prints along baseboards and on walls. If you suspect you have rats, but you do keep to a regular dusting routine, you could test for rats by sprinkling some talcum powder along baseboards and checking back in a few days.  

It should also be noted that your efforts to get rid of rats from your home should not be restricted to indoors only. Rats are attracted to food gardens and agricultural fields, so if there are any close to your home, you may need to check for rodents outside your home too. If there are outdoor structures used to store grains, these should be regularly checked for evidence of rats. 

How to get rid of rats in your home

A key thing you need to know about rats and mice is that they like to find solace in warm, dry, unconventional places including boxes, inside cabinets, behind dressers and even inside the casings of computer towers. They are also capable of climbing up into the insides of furniture to enjoy the soft stuffing inside. It is these types of areas where rodents are likely to nest – and where there are nests, there are likely to be large colonies of rodents all nesting together! 

These key spots are the ideal places to target as you look to control the rat infestation in your home. Get your hands on an effective pest control product like the Mortein PowerGard Ratkill to combat rodents before they take over your home. Simply break apart the cakes and place them in places where you may have spotted rat droppings, urine or other signs of pest activity.