When you think about extermination, you probably picture a pest control professional coming in and either trapping or poisoning the rats. Indeed, this is an important step in the extermination process — getting rid of the existing creatures. However, extermination does not stop there, or at least, it should not stop there. The next steps are equally as important, as they focus on making sure new rats don't come into your home. What are those next steps?
1. Patch any holes.
While the exterminator is on-site, they will typically look over your home and try to determine where the rats were getting in. There might be a hole you did not know about in your attic, in the basement wall, or even alongside a window in a spare room. Rats can fit into holes the size of a quarter, and they can also chew holes larger, if needed. Any holes that you or the exterminator locate will need to be patched. Smaller holes can generally be patched with caulk or spray foam insulation, but larger ones may need to be boarded over until you can have more permanent repairs made to the structure.
2. Stop water intrusion.
Rats are a little like mold in that they tend to appear wherever there's moisture. After all, they need to drink! The source of moisture could be a leak in a basement wall, or it could be something more sinister like a dripping pipe or a furnace condensate pump that's not working. Track down the water, and stop it from coming in. You may need to call a plumber or a foundation repair team for more extensive repairs.
3. Improve your food storage techniques.
Rats need shelter, water, and food. If your home does not provide all three of these elements, they won't stay for long, even if they do manage to make it inside. The problem is that almost anything can be a food source for rats. They'll be happy with the few pieces of kibble your dog leaves behind every night or with the crumbs your toddler leaves on the couch.
Transfer all of your food into tightly sealed containers. Pick up all pet food each night, and vacuum more often. Eliminate the food source so that even if a few rats do sneak back in, they don't find your home a hospitable abode.
If you make sure you follow through with these additional extermination steps, your pest control efforts will yield permanent results.
Contact a rat extermination service for more information.