There are areas where the rat population is very small, and areas where the rat population is very large. If there are not a lot of rats where you are, then as long as you keep your home reasonably clean and seal any holes, you're unlikely to ever have a rodent problem. But when you're in an area where rats are more widespread, you have to be a lot more vigilant. Here are some pest control tactics to employ in rat-heavy areas.
Set a few traps in your basement and attic.
Often, when they are looking for a new spot to nest, rats will first send out a couple of scouts. If these rats find a place they like, such as your nice, warm attic, they will go back to their family and bring others along. If you set a few rat traps in your basement and attic — the places where rats often first gain access to a home — then you can hopefully trap these initial scouts and prevent them from returning to their families to bring any other rats back with them. Check your rat traps every few days so that if you have caught a rat, you're able to dispose of it quickly and get the trap back in action. If you're trapping rats consistently, then you may need to do some more digging to figure out how they're getting in and block off that access point.
Run a dehumidifier.
Rats don't just need food to thrive. They need water. And in seasons when water is scarce, they will flock to your home if there is so much as a little condensation on your basement walls or a small puddle on your floor. Obviously, you should plug any leaks and fix any plumbing issues, but you should also run a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air, which will ensure any little puddles do evaporate quickly and don't attract rats.
Don't leave pet food down, inside or out.
In an area where rats are common, you can't just leave pet food out and unattended. The second you're out of sight, rats will find it if you're outside. And if a rat makes its way into your home and finds that there's dog food to eat each night, you'll soon have 15 rats munching on your dog's leftovers. Feed your pet meals, not free-choice, and pick up any food they do not eat promptly.
If you do notice rats in your home, call a pest control company sooner rather than later. In an area where rats are common, you can't afford to waste any time.
Contact a pest control service in your area for more information.