No one wants to live in a home infested with rats or other rodents, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing all you can to prevent and discourage their entry into your home.

Fortunately, there are several things you can start doing today to keep these unwanted visitors out of your space including sealing your doors and windows, rinsing your recyclables, and doing regular home cleanings.

Let’s look at six ways you can keep rats out of your home.

Properly Seal Your Doors and Windows

Rats may seem like larger pests, but they can fit through surprisingly small gaps and cracks to get into your home. Make sure that you properly seal your doors and windows to prevent unwanted entry, and regularly inspect them to make sure window screens haven’t ripped, holes aren’t being dug in your frames, or other damages are occurring that would let rodents enter your home more easily.

Additionally, check for other gaps and cracks that may be in your home. And crevices or cracks in your home’s exterior–even on the roof–can let in rats, so make sure to check for cracks in your foundation, loose siding, and other potential gaps.

Appropriately Dispose of Trash

Taking out your trash is a no-brainer when it comes to preventing rodents from hanging around your home. But you need to make sure that you’re disposing of your trash appropriately. This means making sure your bins have tight-fitting lids that pests can’t get into easily, cleaning them out regularly, and keeping the areas around your garbage containers clean of debris and other litter.

Rinse Out Any Recyclables

In addition to appropriately disposing of trash, you also need to make sure that you’re rinsing out your recyclables–especially if your recyclable container doesn’t seal completely. Rinsing them out can reduce food residue and limit how many pests you have in and around your home.

Clean Out Your Drains

Drains can be incredibly gross, dark places that you would much rather avoid than clean, but that also makes them a perfect location for rats and other rodents to gather. Make sure you inspect your drains in bathrooms, kitchens, mud rooms, laundry rooms, and anywhere else to prevent possible breeding sites. 

If you don’t have access to good drain cleaners, or if you prefer a more natural cleaning option, baking soda mixed with vinegar can both clean out your drains and prevent rodents from gathering there.

Seal Your Food Containers and Packages

Rats have an incredible sense of smell, so if you have any open food packages or containers in your home, you can be sure that nearby rodents and pests know about them. Make sure you carefully seal any open items including cereals, chips, cookies, and baking ingredients in reusable containers if the original packaging is not sealable.

Clean Your Home Regularly

When you have a clean home, pests like rats are far less likely to come in. This is because cleaning activities like sweeping, dusting and vacuuming disturb commonly avoided areas in your house that rodents may try to occupy. 

Additionally, regular cleaning keeps food crumbs and other debris off of your floors and surfaces to eliminate a rodent food source.