Knowledge Base

How can Rat populations be controlled?

Rodent control begins with the proper management of garbage, and good sanitation practices. While rodents find warmth and shelter inside structures, food is their first reason for living in and around structures.

Thus, every effort should be made to eliminate rodent food sources in and around structures. Foods should be kept in sealed containers made of materials difficult for rodents to chew through, such as metal and hard plastic. Trash should also be stored in tightly sealed containers including trash cans and dumpsters with lids. Replacement of a municipality’s trash containers with “rodent-proof” containers should be a part of the city’s rodent management plan, especially for areas where rodents are a recurring problem.

Dumpsters should be placed as far away from structures as is practical, equipped with tight-fitting covers, and have no holes larger than ¼-inch. Dumpster drain openings should be securely plugged. Dumpsters and trash cans, as well as the areas underneath and around them, should be kept clean. Trash removal should be regular and frequent enough to keep rodents from relying on dumpsters as a food source. For commercial food-handling establishments, this may mean having trash removed two or more times per week.

Water management is also important for rat control. Outdoors, water should not be allowed to puddle around structures. Faulty grades should be filled to slope away from the structure. Gutters and downspouts should be kept free of debris. Water should not be allowed to stand around air-conditioning units. Also, correct indoor moisture problems. Repair leaking pipes and faucets. Don’t let water stand in sinks overnight. And keep lids on toilets – rodents have been known to drink water, and even urine, from toilets, and can enter structures by swimming pipes and emerging from toilets!

Updated 3/26/2013 10:54 AM
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