How To Humanely Evict Rats From Under Your Porch And Keep Them Out

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While rats can make great pets, "small, cuddly companion" usually isn't what comes to mind when people think of these animals. Instead, many people see them as nothing more than pesky critters and would rather not share their home with them, even though the rats never seem to mind. They often dig under outdoor structures like porches and decks, converting the space underneath into their own private condo. If you have rats living under your back or front porch that you'd like to humanely get rid of, there are several ways to do this. One way is to catch and relocate them with a no-kill trap and then seal off their access points to prevent new ones from moving in.

Although rats may not look dangerous, these pests can carry diseases, destroy your property, and eventually make their way inside your home. And, of course, they may also leave their rat droppings all over your porch floor and outdoor furniture overnight, forcing you to have to clean it up the next morning. Yuck. Perhaps the unwelcome guests living under your porch even keep you up at night with their scurrying and eating noises. Regardless of the reason you want to send them packing, you can serve the rats under your porch an eviction notice without harming them.

Set a catch-and-release rat trap and relocate them

Traps like the Uhlik Repeater Trap are among the most effective catch-and-release options. Mouse Trap Monday's Shawn Woods demonstrated its efficacy on his YouTube channel; he caught seven rats in one night. This trap was designed to trap multiple rodents via a trap door and bait tray. However, while it does come with 1.25 pounds of bait, it still carries a hefty price tag of $240. Want a cheaper option? Consider the Oucift Automatic Continuous Cycle Mouse Trap on Amazon for $18.

Set your trap on the ground near any small opening under your porch or directly on the porch and place some rat bait inside. Jerky, cheese, peanut butter, or nuts are all great options. Since rats are nocturnal, you'll need to wait until the following morning to see if you caught any. It's also important to note that rats are very intelligent and might not approach the bait right away, so you may want to disable the trapping mechanism for the first few nights, if possible. The repeater trap includes a stopper rod that allows this, and the continuous cycle trap has a backdoor that can be removed during the acclimation period. Once you've caught the furry squatters, you can relocate them — if you don't mind them being in your car for a few minutes. Make sure to release them at least 5 miles from your home, and aim for a wooded area near a body of water.

Seal off the rats' access points

After the relocation, you'll want to keep the rats away by preventing new ones from moving in. You can do this by blocking their access points — but not before you're certain that all the pests are gone. Keep in mind that the repeater and continuous cycle traps can contain multiple rats at a time, but you may still want to set the trap a second time after the first catch. You can repeat this until you stop catching rats. Another indicator of a rat-free area is the absence of droppings.

It's important to be certain that no rats are still hiding under your porch before you seal the access points because you don't want to trap them inside, where they could chew through something and end up inside your home. Once all evidence of rats is gone, it's time to fill the holes and install a barrier. You may find one or multiple burrows in the dirt directly under the porch or other gaps between the porch foundation and the ground. Use steel wool to fill the small burrows. You can also use spray foam or caulk to keep it in place. For larger holes, or if you want to provide an extra barrier over the filled burrows, you can install a lath screen, chicken wire fence, hardware cloth, or similar fencing. Overall, this is a much better and more humane option than using rat pesticides underneath your porch.