How to Get Rid of Rats in a Crawl Space
Crawl spaces are common places for rats to get comfortable and set up their residence. If you suspect that rats are in your home’s crawl space, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible. Rats can cause a lot of damage in a short period of time, and they can also contaminate your home with their droppings and urine.
In this guide, we will discuss how to get rid of rats in the crawl space using a variety of methods. We will also provide tips on preventing rats from entering your home in the first place.
How do Rats Get into a Crawl Space?
Rats can get into a crawl space in a number of ways. Here are a few of the most common ways:
Rats can enter through cracks in the foundation as well as gaps around doors and windows.
Vents & Windows
Vents without screens are an easy way for rats to get into your crawl space, especially if they’re open at night when you’re asleep.
Sewer pipes, water lines, electrical conduits, etc., all have a place where they enter your home. The seal around these entry points can degrade over time, allowing rats to squeeze through the gap and into your crawl space.
Why Do Rats Live in Crawl Spaces?
Rats are opportunists and will live wherever they can find food, water, and shelter. A crawl space is a perfect place for them to do this because it’s very dark (which means they’re less likely to be seen), and it has all the essentials they need.
If left unchecked, rats can cause a lot of damage in a crawl space. They can damage insulation and gnaw through wiring and air ducts, creating fire hazards.
Evidence of Rats in Your Home
If you suspect that there are rats in the crawl space, look for signs of their presence. Even if you don’t spot them with your own two eyes, you might be able to find evidence of their presence. Here are some of the most common signs that you have a mouse problem in the crawl space:
Rats leave behind tiny black droppings wherever they go, and this includes your crawl space. If you see small black pellets scattered about, then there’s a good chance it is rat poop. It will be hard to tell if it was a mouse or rat, but if it’s the size of a grain of rice, then you can bet that an adult rodent left it.
Rats like to build nests out of whatever materials they can find. If you see piles of shredded paper, fabric scraps, or other small objects in your crawl space, then you might have rats nesting there.
Scratching and squeaking
Rats will make all kinds of noises as they scurry about your home in the middle of the night, including scratching sounds against walls or pipes. If you hear these types of sounds coming from your crawl space at night, there’s a good chance that rats are causing them.
A rat’s teeth never stop growing, so they have to constantly gnaw on things to keep them at the right length. If you see small grooves along wooden beams or other objects in your home, those were likely made by a rodent trying to wear down its choppers.
Get Rid of Rats in Crawl Space with These Steps
Now that you know how to identify a rat problem, it’s time to learn how to get rid of rats in the crawl space.
Step 1 - Locate the Infestation
The first step is to locate the infestation. Rats tend to stay close to their food source, so look for signs of droppings, nests, and scratching noises in the vicinity of your crawl space.
Check the exterior of the house for any cracks or holes that might provide entry for rodents, and seal them up with caulk or expanding foam.
Once you’ve pinpointed where the rats are living, you can begin taking steps to get rid of them.
Step 2 - Remove Their Food Source
Removing rats’ food sources is the key to getting rid of them. If you can make it difficult for them to find anything to eat, they will eventually leave on their own.
Store all of your food in airtight containers or keep it refrigerated when not being used. Make sure to clean up any spills or crumbs immediately – even a small amount of food left out can attract rodents.
Step 3 - Removal methods
You can deter rats from entering your home by using natural repellents. You can also use traps or poison to kill them if they are already living in the crawl space of your house.
Use Cloves and Peppermint Oil to get rid of rats; try sprinkling cloves around areas where you think they might be hiding out. Their strong smell will repel them from the area.
You can also make an oil spray with peppermint essential oils and water, which works great as a rat repellent when sprayed in areas where rodents are known to enter or live.
Once you’ve removed the food source, set some traps to catch the rats. Make sure your traps are placed in areas where there is high rodent activity and that they won’t be disturbed by pets or children.
You can also use bait to lure them into a trap. Some good baits include:
Rodenticide is a poison that will kill rats, but it should only be used as a last resort because it can also be harmful to other animals in your home.
Another option is to use a live trap, which will capture the rat and release it outside away from your property.
If you would rather leave the job to the professionals, they will be able to take care of your rat problem efficiently and effectively. This way, you can go about your daily life while they monitor the rat situation in your home and eradicate them.
Step 4 - Removal of Rats from the Crawl Space
Once you’ve caught the rats, it is important that they are removed from your home as soon as possible.
If you don’t want to deal with them yourself, there are companies that will take care of this for you at a cost. You can also contact rodent removal professionals and see if they will come out and pick up the rodents from your property.
You don’t have to kill them, but you do need to dispose of them in a way that prevents other animals from getting into contact with them because this could spread disease.
Keeping Rats Out of Your Crawl Space
Rats love to live in crawl spaces. They provide a cool and dark environment for them, as well as plenty of places to nest and hide from predators. Unfortunately, if you have rats living in your home’s crawl space, there’s a good chance that they will eventually make their way into other parts of the house where they can do more damage.
However, the following do’s and don’ts can make your crawl space less appealing to rats and help you get rid of them if they are already there.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I put rat poison in my crawl space?
This method works. However, it is not the most recommended method. The rats will die from the poison and could attract other animals that may come into contact with the carcasses.
How do I get rid of rats under my house?
There are a few ways to get rid of rats under your house. You can set traps (snap or live), use bait, rodenticide, or call in professionals.
Can I just seal up the holes in my house and expect the rats to die?
No, if you only seal up the holes in your house and don’t remove the rat carcasses, other animals may come into contact with their carcasses which could spread disease.
What scent will keep rats away?
There is no one scent that will keep rats away. However, you can try using peppermint oil, garlic, mint, citrus oil, and eucalyptus oil to deter them.
What is a natural deterrent for rats?
A natural deterrent for rats is a mixture of essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and citrus. You can also try using ammonia in your crawl space to deter them.