Summer is here! You probably can't wait to get outside and enjoy the warm weather, complete with barbecues and pool parties. But before you dive headfirst into summer fun, there is an important matter that needs to be addressed: rats. If you have not seen rats around your property yet, that's great — but you definitely want to take steps to keep it that way. And if you have seen a few rats, then you need to follow these steps to ensure you don't start seeing any more.
1. Get rid of standing water.
Standing water is often thought of as a risk for mosquitoes — and you should definitely eliminate it for that reason, too — but it is also an attractant for rats. After all, rats have to drink, and if there has not been rain for a while, the puddle in your backyard may be just the thing that encourages them to move into your space. Dump out buckets and wheelbarrows that are holding water, and work with your landscaping company to improve drainage in any low spots.
2. Secure your trash can lids.
You may have gotten away with loose, non-secured lids in the winter, but not in the summer months. A little heat gets the smells radiating off any food scraps in the trash bin, and rats love the scent of rotting food. If your trash can's lid does not latch in place, use a heavy brick or cinder block to hold it down.
3. Clean the gutters.
That's right — rats are amazing climbers and can easily work their way up to your gutters. If the gutters are clogged, then rats will easily find the water they need up there. Then, they don't have to venture far to make their way into your attic. Scoop out the gunk, and rinse the gutters with clear water. It should only take a few hours, at most, and the results are well worth it.
4. Put screens on basement windows.
This is the time of year when you probably start opening your basement windows for some nice ventilation. Unfortunately, a lot of basement windows lack the screens found on other windows in your home. Rats love this. It makes basement windows so easy to climb into! Find some screens for your basement windows, or resolve to leave them closed.
Summer is the season when rats really start to roam. Follow the tips above or contact a rodent control company so they don't pester you.