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There are few rats in the kitchen and they destroy kitchen equipment and food items. They are coming form window louvers at night. Can you please propose a solution except closing the louvers??

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    Welcome to Lifehacks! Have you read the question about mice? lifehacks.stackexchange.com/questions/2338/… Could you try some of them and see if it helps against your rats as well? – Angelo Fuchs Jan 13 '15 at 12:44
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    Also, can you alter your house or does it need to stay in the same shape? Could you nail something on the outside of the window to prevent rats to come in? What kind of alternations to your surroundings are okay? Poison (do you have children / pets) okay? How many rats are there? Solutions for five or so per night could be different from dozens. – Angelo Fuchs Jan 13 '15 at 12:53
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    If this is a serious problem, consider contacting a professional exterminator -- that will work for sure. – Shokhet Jan 13 '15 at 20:35
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    Since you have identified how they get there, the logical solution is to make the louvers rat-proof, for example by putting extra grating behind. – Danubian Sailor Jan 16 '15 at 10:30
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    Would you not even be prepared to close the louvers for a limited period to see if the rats leave? – Dave May 3 '16 at 9:22
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Rats are a different problem than mice. Because they are large they present more smell and health issues if they crawl off and die. If exterminating rats it is best to use a rat trap or other device so they die in the open, to be seen and disposed of. Glue traps are inhumane and should be avoided. Poison can be inhumane, but the animal will also crawl away. A rat trap is the most humane method. Methods exist to trap them alive, but few people do that.

You will not successfully keep rats out of the house. When present they must be exterminated. If a nearby building or dwelling takes measures, they will go somewhere else and are a common problem in neighborhoods.

Having a cat works, but a cat is a pet along with all the responsibilities. If you are already considering having a cat as a pet, it would be an option. The best option however is the rat trap.

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    Not all cats will kill or run off rodents. I have one that has made friends with the rodents. Just make sure that if you do get a cat, it is a known mouser. – Adam Zuckerman Jan 14 '15 at 0:04
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    Glue traps are inhumane, but they are not meant to kill people but rats, so no reason to avoid them ;) – Danubian Sailor Jan 16 '15 at 10:28
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    @DanubianSailor Haha... Good point :) – L.B. Jan 16 '15 at 16:44
  • Yes, as a Buddhist, I also think traps are inhuman. I closed them forever, but with a thin metal grill to make sure it wouldn't disturb the ventilation, which was the purpose of that. Thanks for comments guys! – Kushan Randima May 3 '16 at 18:57
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I've had rats in the house via the kitchen, in the shed and in the garden. In the house they were getting in via a hole in the cavity wall and emerging from under the cooker. Using a tip from a professional exterminator you lay down very fine silica sand (or talcum powder) to see the footprints... then lay your traps accordingly. I tried flour once when I'd run out of talcum powder and they just ate it !!! The pro recommended his bait boxes but I found them to be useless. "Victor" snap traps (baited with anything or nothing) along their routes did the trick in the loft and kitchen and I scored about 7 or 8. Snap traps outside will catch other creatures like hedgehogs. We live in a UK terraced house and they were getting in across the open roof spaces and descending thru the cavity walls into my kitchen. I traced their routes with talcum powder in the loft.

They tend to run along walls/boundaries.

Outside I have lain in wait with an airgun after scattering bait, but they are very hard to kill even with a direct hit. Unless you get them in the head or break a leg, they will just run off (and hopefully die.. maybe). Their skins must be very tough and leathery - I have a pump-action airgun that goes up to maximum permitted energy.

Then I got the "humane" wire-grid rat trap, which catches them alive. Baited with mouldy cheese, bread, stale chocolate cake etc... Place the trap along an edge (of the chicken run, garden etc), and just wait. When you catch one, don't drive into the country and release it. Execute it with the airgun, or drown it. I am up to rat 19 in the garden since late September.

Rat poison in outside bait boxes does work too. I use the "blue grain" type bait. I could use several kilos a year around my chicken coop. The pro's chewy fruit bar bait was ignored inside the bait-boxes in the house.

You feel a lot better fighting back when you can see the results in dead bodies. Burn em bury em or bung em on the compost heap.

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    You should never use poison outdoors. Other beneficial animals will also be poisoned. Rodents will eat the poison and then pass it up into the food chain. That is how many birds of prey are killed. – Jason Hutchinson Jan 14 '15 at 15:19
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    @Jason - the professional exterminators do - it seems to be their only or main weapon.... although one local guy did have a cricket bat he'd labelled "bash-a-rat" which he used to only slight effect when we were trying to get rid of rats around my compost heap. He wasn't fast enough - the rat ran between his legs! – Dave45 Jan 16 '15 at 12:32
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    I know a lot of people including professionals have that practice, but it is extremely harmful to the environment. It indiscriminately kills any wildlife that comes into contact with it including domestic animals. If you must absolutely use poison, make sure it is in a bait station designed specifically for rats or mice so other larger animals can't get into it. – Jason Hutchinson Jan 16 '15 at 13:56
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    He did use such a bait station, as do I. He also used a snap rat-trap under garage, which caught a hedgehog (not a very wise move!). Had to release it myself - it was fine and just walked off. When I say "professional" I mean pest exterminators in yellow pages. – Dave45 Jan 16 '15 at 16:41
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You can buy electronic pest controllers for about $30 they emit a high pitched sound inaudible to humans and larger animals and they get confused and won't come in...it also seems to work for large insects, ie cockroaches and crickets.

  • Hmmmm.. thanks for the opinion. I wil check ebay and see what the products available for this – Kushan Randima May 3 '16 at 3:46
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    Reports on the effectiveness of these vary. I got one when I got mice, and it seemed to work very well, but other people say they didn't work for them. Generally it seems that if the mice (I don't know how well they work with rats) are well established it won't deter them, but if they are new they'll look for somewhere else to live. – Dave May 3 '16 at 9:17
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You need louvers because you want fresh air. Fortunatelly, air comes through even small holes, and rats don't.

You need to make sure, there are no open holes in your building big enough for rat to come. You could put extra grating behind the louver, or change the louvers to more dense one, so that the rat can't come through (however, you may have problems finding one, so I'd stick to grating).

Another solution is to find out how the rats are getting to the window. If the window start at the ground level, there's nothing that can be done, but if it's higher, maybe they use the branch of the tree or some other item nearby?

They may use holes in the walls, ceiling windows etc., sealing everything may be a big challenge in an old house, especially wooden one, but unless you do that, you can expect much more 'visitors' than rats only.

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    Rats can go through surprisingly small spaces. They often chew through obstacles, too. ratbehavior.org/CollapsibleSkeleton.htm Once a rat has come into a house it will continue finding a way in. – subjectivist Jan 16 '15 at 15:34
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    FWIW when ratty was entering the kitchen thru a hole on the cavity wall, the rat-man told me not to patch the hole up as the rat would find another way in that we'd have to find. His advice was to make sure we'd killed them ALL, then fill the hole with cement and steel wool to stop any future invaders munching thru the cement. Seems to have worked.. all rat encounters since then have been garden-based. – Dave45 Jan 16 '15 at 16:46
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Move to different neighborhood....Just a thought. Then the rats will be a problem for someone else. Get a few big Maine Coon cats and train him to go after rats. Cats are very territorial and will protect their turf.

  • Oh! It is not convenient to me. Because this is my permanent house and I own it. Thanks for the advice – Kushan Randima May 3 '16 at 3:45
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Treat them with SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) - controversial toxin available in most commercial liquid soaps, gels and shampoo. It is toxic to bacteria, animals as well as to humans.

First of all clean your louver and its close areas. Then spill a lot of some SLS liquid (the cheapest - the better) where you can (e.g. on outside part of your window), leave it to dry and check the results. They'll hate it.

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