Garages are more than just an area to park our cars. They’re often treated as an extension of our house, and so getting rid of rats in the garage is essential to prevent the spread of damage and disease.
Rats are often drawn to the garage because of the abundance of food and shelter sources. Garages are the ideal environment for a rat infestation since they are dark and offer plenty of hiding spots for the rodents.
It is important to act quickly if signs of rats in the garage are spotted. If the population becomes too large, the rats might spread throughout the house, causing extensive damage wherever they go.
How do you know if you have rats in the garage?
Besides seeing a rat (if you see one rat, dead or alive, you can rest assured there are others nearby), there are a number of other signs to look for when determining whether you have an infestation. Some things to look for include:
- Droppings – Rat feces consist of small pellets that are usually around half an inch in length and a dark brown or black color. They usually turn gray as they dry up and lose their color over time. The darker the poop, the more recently it was deposited. This may help you gauge how recent or active the rat problem currently is.
- Gnaw marks – Chewing is essential for rats as their teeth are constantly developing and need to be trimmed down and kept sharp. As a result, looking for gnaw marks is a good indicator that you have rats in the garage. Signs of gnawing can be found on various surfaces, including walls, cabinets, pipes, and cables.
- Shredding – Keep an eye out for rat nesting materials, such as shredded paper or fiberglass insulation. Finding shredded materials can be a sign that the rats are making themselves at home in your garage!
- Regular runs – Be vigilant for dark, greasy smudges appearing on walls or baseboards caused by regular rat runs. These dark smudges are produced by greasy oils on the rat rubbing off onto walls as it travels from the nest to its usual food and water sources.
How do rats get into the garage?
Rats are particularly difficult to keep out of the garage as they’re determined and nimble, meaning they will squeeze their way through the smallest of gaps. All they need is an inch and they’ll find a way in.
With that being said, it becomes apparent there are a number of options for a rat to enter the garage. Some of the most common entry points are:
- Under the garage door – as mentioned above, give a rat an inch of space and it will squeeze through it. If there is a small gap under your garage door, even as tiny as a finger space, then chances are rats are finding their way through it.
- Climbing – It’s not unheard of for rats to utilize power lines as a ladder to the top of a building. If they are able to climb up into the eaves, they are most likely able to get in your garage.
- Dryer vents – If your dryer vent is not properly sealed, rats can easily get in through the vent and into your garage.
- Drains – Most rats can swim very well, and as a result, a drain in your garage could provide still another entry point. Make sure the drain cover is in place and secure.
How to get rid of rats in the garage – Natural Methods
Getting rid of rats from the garage doesn’t have to involve toxic poison. There are a few natural and effective methods that will help stop an infestation. These methods are:
Rats can be captured and killed with relative ease using snap traps, which can be purchased for a low price and are made from either plastic or wood.
It is important to find snap traps that specifically say they are for rat control. These traps are more powerful than mice traps and will ensure that the rats are killed in the most humane way possible.
One type of rat trap uses the rodents’ natural inclination to squeeze into tight spaces. These traps have a wind-up mechanism that is activated by the rat’s touch, preventing the rat from escaping the trap.
When the rat completely enters the trap, the mechanism is activated. Please note – regular checking of live traps is essential and any rats caught in this manner must be immediately killed humanely or released.
Install a deterrent
In order to evict rats from the garage and discourage them from coming near your home, you can use an electrical device called a rat deterrent that emits ultrasonic sound (which human ears are unable to hear).
You can rest assured that any rats that would try to invade your garage will be promptly repelled by one of these gadgets.
Other natural deterrents
Certain scents are known to deter rats from the garage. Volatile scents such as bleach are unpleasant to rats and will help drive them away naturally.
How to get rid of rats in the garage – Chemical Methods
Poisonous rodenticides are used to get rid of unwanted rodents like rats and mice. Some are still available at home improvement shops, but a new EPA rule restricts the sale of the vast majority of baits to authorized retail outlets.
To further reduce the risk of accidental exposure to children and pets, the rodenticide is then packaged in single-use canisters. As an added precaution, always carefully read and adhere to the labeled instructions.
When using rodenticides, it is a good idea to utilize a bait station. Bait stations are enclosed containers that hold the poison and are designed to prevent non-target animals from coming into touch with or eating the poison while yet allowing rats to enter and consume it.
How long does it take to get rid of rats?
It might take anything from a week to several months to get rid of rats, depending on the extent of the infestation and the kind of treatment you pick.
Don’t underestimate these rodents; they’re capable of rapid reproduction, will consume everything, and may even be a vector for illness. Take prompt action at the first indication of an infestation.
In many ways, prevention is better than cure, and so steps should be taken to prevent an infestation in the first place.
How to prevent rats in the garage?
- Food – Rats can detect the odor of food in both its packaged and unpackaged forms. Therefore, you should make sure that your garage does not include any food items that may attract rats.
- Mess – Cluttered spaces are ideal for rats because they provide both warmth and hiding places in the event that a predator is noticed. One of the best decisions you could make this year is to clean up your garage.
- Entry points – The entrances rats use to enter the garage are often much smaller than one would expect. Take your time to inspect the inside of the garage, noting any possible entryways the rats may be using. Caulk, wire mesh, or steel wool can be used to seal up any holes or openings to the inside.
- Surrounding areas – It’s a good idea to frequently pick up the fallen fruit from any fruit or nut trees in your yard surrounding the garage. Without proper maintenance, they will attract rats, mice, roaches, and other unwelcome visitors.
Cleaning the garage and then using natural methods such as snap traps and High Frequency Deterrents are the best ways to get rid of rats from the garage.
Rats are notoriously difficult to get rid of once they’ve found a way into the garage, and so prevention is much easier than cure.
Once a rat infestation has been cleared, it is important to regularly work through our prevention steps to stop them moving back in.
Do not leave any food or water in the garage, declutter spaces where rats may be hiding, seal up possible entry points, and clean the surrounding area around the garage.
Rats dislike volatile scents such as bleach and black pepper, and so these can be used to keep rats away from the garage.
Rats are attracted to food, water, and mess in the garage and will find their way in through small gaps, drains, and vents.
Rats will use cluttered and confined spaces to hide in the garage
Some signs of rats in the garage include droppings, gnaw marks, and shredding