Not only do they transmit dangerous diseases, they can also become a real nuisance: rats are repeat offenders who end up in the same places over and over again. Nevertheless, you don’t have to resort to deadly poisoned bait to drive away the rodents. We will tell you effective alternatives.

In Germany, brown rats live primarily, which prefer underground habitats and are therefore also referred to as sewer rats. Their total population in this country is estimated at up to 350 million animals, which is not exactly small. It is all the more important to combat an infestation quickly – but you do not necessarily have to use poisoned bait, which causes rats (internally) to bleed to death in an extremely painful manner. Instead, you can rely on tried and tested home remedies and live traps. To be sure that you are really dealing with an infestation, you should know the most important indicators. What these are and how to drive rats away is discussed below.

Search for clues: How to recognize a rat infestation

At the latest when you see a live (or dead) rat, the finding is clear. However, there are typical signs of an infestation even without sighting the rodents. These include:

Which attractants are the rodents magically attracted to?

Rats do not stray into your home without a reason, but always follow their nose, which alerts them to fresh food. This is often leftover food that has already been thrown away. For this reason, you should always dispose of your waste carefully and always make sure that your garbage bags and bins are closed tightly. And that’s not all – these food sources also magically attract rats: animal food not only tastes good to your dogs or cats, but also to rodents. When storing (especially in the basement), make sure that all animal-based foods are laid out in tightly lockable boxes. The same applies to your stored fruit and vegetable supplies, which rats like to attack. In addition, compost heaps are literally a feast for rodents – to protect them from rats, they should always be well covered. Tightly closable containers made of metal are even better (plastic and wood are gnawed on).

Drive away rats: These are the best home remedies

If you have discovered the first signs of a rat infestation, you can use tried and tested home remedies that are said to be effective against the animals. The best known include:

That’s why rat poison baits are not a good idea

As mentioned at the beginning, rats face an agonizing death if they swallow poison bait. That being said, the ingredients can harm not only the rodents, but also dogs and cats — or even toddlers who accidentally swallow the bait. In addition, rats are very intelligent and can recognize the connection between a poisonous bite and a dead member who died from it. This will help them resist temptation and avoid the bait that is laid out. Unfortunately, the same also applies to live traps: after a short time, the animals understand what the cages are good for and no longer grope in. Of course, it’s still worth a try and always better than a poison bait.

This is how you prevent rat infestation

You can take preventive measures to prevent rodents from making themselves at home in your basement, in your attic or in less-used rooms:

This article contains so-called affiliate links. There is more information here.