How to Control Rats In Your Home

Rats bring toxic diseases into your home and can cause damage to the structural foundation of your house. Control rat problems in your home with Tomcat.

With two common types of rats seen in Canada, rats are much larger in size than mice despite scavenging for similar sources of food, water and shelter. Rats will look for similar entry points into your home as mice and can do larger damage to your home while also being known to carry more hazardous diseases with them due to the nature of where they thrive outdoors. In this article, get all the information you need to effectively control rats in your home.

Common Types of Rats Found In Most Canadian Homes

In Canada, there are two types of rats most commonly known to intrude homes. In comparison to mice, rats are known to carry more toxic diseases which is enough of a reason to control rats immediately. Here are the two most commonly known rats found in Canadian homes:

Norway Rats

With tails longer than their bodies and a stockier build, Norway Rats can grow to about 40cm (16 inches) in length and are the largest of the different types of rodents found in Canada. Unlike Roof Rats, Norway Rats prefer to be closer to the ground and are known to frequent garbage, sewers and other underground areas. Due to their size, they can cause a considerable amount of damage to home walls and baseboards in their pursuit for food and water.

Norway Rats

Roof Rats

These rats are named after their ability to climb up to multiple levels of people’s homes and nest in upper level areas such as trees, attics and roofs. Despite sharing similar interests in food and water as Norway Rats, Roof Rats will still choose to live above ground and are known to chew the wooden structures of homes in their pursuit for food. These rats can grow up to 20cm (8 inches) in size and will stop at nothing to get to a source of food.

roof rats

Signs of Rats In Your Area

woman looking in cupboard

Rats will always leave a sign of their presence anywhere they go as these signs almost always pose a hazard to the wellbeing of your home. Discover some of the most common types of signs that you will see when rats have occupied your home:

For more information on the signs of rats, read our article to learn how to identify a rat problem in your home.


What may have started out as one rat may turn into multiple rats very quickly. Identifying a rat problem and controlling the issue immediately is the safest way to avoid the potential of an infestation in your home. Should you suspect that you are already at the stage of an infestation, significant amounts of droppings and urine will be found in your home.

Despite rodents such as rats being nocturnal, clear signs of an infestation is when you see rats in the daytime as well. This speaks to the amount of rats that may be in your home at once which can take a major toll on the wellbeing of your home and pose serious danger to your house and your living space overall.

The Dangers of Living With Rats

mouse damage

Home Damage

Rats will stop at nothing to get to a source of food and water. Chewing through drywall and other obstructions in your home to find food is commonplace for these rodents that are also in pursuit of a warm place to nest while in your home. With consideration to the other places that rats call home, the unsanitary conditions of those places mean that rats can bring unwanted diseases and pests along with them that can greatly affect health conditions of both you, your family members and your pets.


With an affinity for nesting outdoors and finding sources of food in places such as garbage and waste, Norway Rats and Roof Rats have been known to carry with them toxic diseases that can make humans and pet animals extremely sick over time. Rat droppings, urine, saliva and their fur can easily contaminate areas of your home when coming in contact through skin and inhalation.

Here are the most common types of diseases that rats can bring into your home:

  • HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis
  • Typhus
  • Lyme Disease

For more information on rat droppings, read our article to learn how to safely handle rodent droppings in your home.

Controlling Rats With Useful Products

tomcat products

Controlling rats in your home may take time, but taking the right measures through the use of effective products is a step in the right direction. Discover the different types of products designed to control rats in various ways:

Bait Stations

When tackling larger rat problems such as infestations, bait stations help in allowing these rodents to come and go as they please as they consume a poisonous bait block secured inside of the tamper-free enclosure. For more information on bait stations, read our comprehensive guide to bait stations for rodents.

refillable bait station

Snap Traps

Snap traps for rats are highly effective in catching one rat at a time as they snap on to rats that get close enough to the bait sitting inside of the trap. This product has a high kill rate and traps rats instantly before easily being disposed of in the garbage alongside the rat caught inside. For more information on snap traps, read our article on all traps designed for rodents.

Wooden Traps

With a wooden platform to hold the trigger mechanism in place, wooden traps for rats involve a U-shaped metal coil that snaps onto rats that get close enough to the bait that sits on top of the bait holder on the trap. For more information on wooden traps for rats, read our article on all traps designed for rodents.

wooden traps

Glue Traps

Glue traps for rats involve a pesticide-free sticky adhesive that rats naturally get stuck to upon interaction with the glue tray. These sticky traps are formulated with a baited scent that entices rats to enter the glue tray without requiring users to apply any bait to the trap themselves. For more information on glue traps for rats, read our article on glue traps designed for rats.

glue traps

Cleaning Your Home Post-Rats

Cleaning up after a rat problem in your home is important in eliminating the toxic pathogens and diseases that you may be in close contact with. Once you have controlled the rat problem in your home, cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting every area that rats had once occupied is a necessary step towards keeping a rat-free living space. Here are a few items required in order to clean up after a rat problem:

cleaning supplies

Disposal of Droppings

  1. Apply gloves and facemask.
  2. Sweep up any physical droppings that you find in your home and immediately dispose of the droppings in a garbage bag designated for the rat cleanup.
  3. Once the droppings are removed and disposed of in the garbage, spray all surfaces that rats have interacted with.
  4. Let the disinfectant spray settle into the surfaces for over 30 seconds before wiping down each surface. All paper towels used for wiping should also be disposed of in the garbage immediately.

Read our article to learn how to dispose of rodent droppings properly.

Disposal of Dead Rats

The smell of a dead rat left in your home is a serious health hazard that can affect the air quality in your living space that can lead to serious respiratory complications. As the organisms of the rat break down the longer the body is left unattended, the more that the unpleasant smell intoxicates the air in your home and emits pathogenic bacteria that can cause illness to both you and your pet animals.

Using protective equipment and the other safety supplies to clean up after rats is important in removing dead rats from your home and safely disposing of them in the garbage without any chance of further spreading toxins in your home.

Preventing Rats From Coming Back Again

Preventing rats from coming back into your home involves eliminating all opportunities for these rodents to eat, hide and nest. Follow these steps to ensure that rats have no interest in coming back into your home:

  1. Remove any sources of water and food to make it less enticing for rats to enter your home.
  2. Declutter your home and remove any potential areas that rats may consider nesting in. Boxes in basements and other storage areas are common places for rats to burrow nests.
  3. Seal any potential areas that you suspect rats can be entering your home from. Doing so will significantly decrease the chances of rats in your home.

For more information on rat prevention, read our article to learn how to prevent rats from entering your home again.

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