Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Ridding your home of rats without poison

Julie Reeder


I don’t believe anyone is excited to come across rats in or near their home, but since we live in a rural area, they are a fact of life, and an important part of our ecosystem. We find them at least occasionally near our homes, in our garages or in the engines of our cars!

What benefits are rats? They serve as food for predators like mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, wolves, owls, snakes and more. Better rats than our cats and dogs!

But they also burrow and loosen the soil, and spread plants and trees with seeds. They also eat garbage and waste left by humans.

If you are trying to get rid of the pesky critters, there are some practical things you can do without poison.

Buy “Rat Zappers” and place them around where the rats are frequenting.

Don’t leave any food around. Rats will continue to visit where they can find human food, and dog and cat food. They will even eat through plastic bottles of olive oil, cornstarch, etc.

After you remove trash and food, use a solution that is 10% bleach and 90% water to clean shelves, trash cans, sidewalks, alleyways, etc. The rats will not typically return where they can’t find food and they don’t like the smell or taste of bleach.

They will usually eat through plastic pots and containers, but if you keep your dog food, for instance, in a metal trash can and clean the outside with bleach water, they will look for food elsewhere.

All garbage cans and trash bags are tempting for rats, so they should be sprayed with bleach water as well.

It won’t take long for the rats to go somewhere else if night after night they show up and there is no food and everything smells and tastes like bleach.


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