How can I get rid of rat burrows around my house?

First, you need to make sure that it is in fact a rat/rodent burrow you are observing around your home.

opening below foundation where rats enter
The size of the burrow opening is often the key to whether you are dealing with rats or some other burrowing animal. The main opening to a brown rat’s burrow is 2 to 4 inches in diameter and is smooth from use. The opening will often have freshly excavated dirt strewn in a fan shape around the outside of the opening, but can appear differently depending on where you live in the U.S.

Rats create underground pathways or burrows from their nest to food sources and to escape predators. These burrows are often located under bushes or other types of dense vegetation. Rat burrows usually contain a main entrance and 1 or 2 exit holes away from the main entrance. Check along walls and grass for runways. Rats run along the same areas over and over leaving worn down paths in grass and dark greasy track marks along foundation walls.  Fecal droppings (3/4 to 1″ long) along their runways or in areas where they have been feeding is another sign of a rat infestation.

Once you have determined the extent of your rodent/rat problem, there are several non-chemical control methods you should follow first.

  • Remove access to any open food sources, such as pet food and large animal feed by putting feed in containers with tight fitting lids.
  • Keep all vegetation surrounding your property mowed and maintained as low as possible.
  • Seal cracks and holes in your home or garage. Look around cable lines, telephone lines, dryer exhausts, electrical conduits, water/steam/gas pipes, etc.
  • Fill in any rat burrows in your yard. or sidewalk.

Trapping and rat poisons (rodenticides) are options. However, rodenticides should be administered by a pest management professional, as they can be lethal to pets and non-target animals.



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