Rats are one of the pests that I detest the most! They are persistent and clever (they can learn to avoid traps). Not only that, but rats can be very dangerous! Simply put, I don’t want them in my house… but how do I stop rats getting into my house? Easy… I check around my house every month to identify and fix any rat entry points! I this post, I am going to give you 9 of the most common entry points that rats will use to get access to your home, so you can prepare too!
Once you identify the entry points, you will need to remove them! More on that in this post too.
- Rat Entry Points To Your Home
- Gap Between House And Roof
- Brickwork Holes
- Utility Holes
- Open Windows/Doors
- Air Conditioning
- Gaps In Windows/Doors
- Cable Holes
- How To Seal Off Rat Entry Points
- Frequently Asked Question
- Is there ever just one rat?
- Where can I find rat entry points?
- How do rats get into houses?
Rat Entry Points To Your Home
Before you go sealing up rat holes, you need to understand how to find rat entry points… and here are the top 9 that you can search for straight away!
Gap Between House And Roof
Rats are excellent climbers! They can climb up the brickwork, wood, and tons of other objects. That means they can easily get onto your roof and get in your home using any gaps between your house and roof.
Rats can also climb trees very, very easily! Any trees that overhang your property is a risk and will be used by rats to get onto your roof.
I’ve put this right at the top of the list because it is often overlooked as a rat entry point because it is difficult to see, investigate, and fix any issues.
Second is the list of most common rat entry points is holes in your brickwork.
These are easy to see, especially at the bottom of your home. You may have holes in your brickwork that have been left there when cables and pipes have been removed.
You need to seal these holes in your brickwork straight away.
Your home will have points where your utilities enter your home. I am talking about electricity, gas, or any other utility.
If you have gaps around the point where your utilities enter your home, these will be used as a rat entry point!
You should perform a thorough check around these entry points and seal them up where necessary.
When the temperature is warm enough, folks like to leave windows and doors open. I know I do!
Leaving doors and windows open does give rats the opportunity to enter your home. It only takes a few seconds for a rat to get into your home. It will then search for a place to hide, and then will look to set up a rats nest if it needs to!
Gaps around the entrance to your air conditioning system is a common rat entry point.
You need to check thoroughly around where your air-con until enters your home. As the entrance is likely to be large, there may be substantial holes that a rat can use to get into your home.
Gaps In Windows/Doors
Sometimes when windows and doors have been left unloved for some time, holes begin to develop around the perimeter of the window or door.
Any hole as big as a quarter will fit a small rat through. Most fully grown rats will need a hole of at least 2 inches to get through. It’s not that big! That gives you an idea of the kind of gap you need to look for when checking your property for rat entry points.
In my roof, I have a couple of ventilation points to let the moisture out of the attic. If these are damaged, they could let rats into your attic! Don’t forget that rats can chew through a bunch of materials with ease. If it isn’t damaged when they get to the ventilation point, it might be damaged by the rat.
A few years back, I had a hole in my roof ventilation point. I knew this because I had a bird’s nest right at the bottom of the ventilation tubing!
Cable holes, if not drilled correctly, can be a rat entry point. When drilling holes for cables, the gap around the outside (if there is one) needs to be filled in.
It is also worth using cable bushing for both ends of the hole.
Often overlooked, your chimney is a rat entry point that you simply can’t ignore.
Rats can easily climb up your roof and down your chimney! The brickwork in a chimney is usually rough and will allow the rat to grip as it descends.
How To Seal Off Rat Entry Points
Now that you have found a rat entry point, you need to deal with it.
Depending on the type of entry point identifies, you may need to enlist the help of a professional, especially if it is around gas pipes or electricity cables.
Some of the tools I use are:
- Rat proof wire mesh: Wire mesh (made from steel) is good enough to keep rats out. You should ensure that you have wire mesh at the bottom of each ventilation point. This is where I have added wire mesh, and it has never been breached.
- Caulk: Use this to fill gaps in brickwork or gypsum. Fill any holes inside and outside of your home. Although rats may be able to chew through this, it is extremely unlikely that they will try because they will not know that it leads into your home!
- Steel Wool: Rats do not like chewing through steel wool! You can use this with the caulk above for additional security around a rat entry point. Never just wedge steel wool into a gap thinking that it will work. A rat will just pull this out of the way and gain access.
- Rat Traps: I place traps outside of my home to catch any that get too close. I also have a number of traps set up in my attic for those who do breach any rat entry point that I haven’t found.
Use some or all of these methods to seal your house from rats. It is the best form of rat control!
Frequently Asked Question
Is there ever just one rat?
Yes – there can be just one rat in your home. I have addressed rat issues before where I have only caught one rat and the problem has gone. You should be aware that rats can have a ton of babies, so you need to act quickly if you think you have a rat in your home.
Where can I find rat entry points?
You should perform regular, thorough checks around your property to identify any rat entry points. Your checks need to include the lowest point of your home, right up to the highest point! Any gap bigger than 2 inches needs to be filled. Even if it is only on the outside of your home, rats can get into your cavity walls too. From there, they can get to the rest of your home.
How do rats get into houses?
Rats can get into your home from any entry point larger than 2 inches. Smaller rats only need a gap as big as a quarter to gain access. A rat can use these holes anywhere on your property, including the roof. If you regularly get rats, you should be outside sealing up rat holes as you find them.
In this post, we have gone through 9 of the most common rat entry points, and we have also covered how to seal off rat entry points.
The most important thing is that you perform these checks regularly. Brickwork holes and other objects that can host a rat entry point can appear at any time. Houses may shift slightly, and weather conditions may create holes.
When you find a rat entry point, it is important that you seal these off ASAP.