With warm weather taking place and some businesses still closed, rats are becoming more active, especially in areas that border commercial or industrial areas. The Borough of Hatboro created a list of frequently asked questions help residents avoid attracting rats to their property, prevent rat harboring, and how to report incidents of infestation.
How can I help prevent rats from being attracted to my property?
- Do not provide food, water, or harborage for the rats to live off of.
- Maintain your property by regularly mowing your lawn and removing overgrowth/weeds that rats can live in. Also trim tree branches, vines, etc. from your home that rats can use to climb.
- Keep lids on your trash cans and assure all waste is properly bagged and contained so rodents cannot access it.
- Remove bird feeders as they can attract rats.
- Remove any containers outside your home that collect standing water. These containers not only provide drinking water for rats, but can attract mosquitoes.
- Seal any holes in your home’s exterior/interior walls, floors, and foundations. These holes can provide rats with a place to live.
I have chickens and a chicken coop on my property, how can I prevent rats from being attracted?
- Fit your coop with galvanized wire mesh instead of chicken wire
- Nesting boxes should be elevated to keep eggs out of reach
- Use high quality weather resistant timber so rats cannot chew their way in
- Clean up any spilled feed before nightfall
- Store feed away from the coop and keep it in an airtight container with the lid secure in place
- Remove or securely cover feeders and water sources at night
- Invest in a treadle feeder to keep the feed secure
- Make sure all eggs are collected form the coop each night
- Use removable floor trays and easy to clean perches along with regular cleaning of the coop
I have a rat infestation on my property, what should I do?
- Call the Montgomery County Health Department at 215-784-5500. The Health Department will request permission to enter your property and will conduct an investigation. The Health Department must see evidence of an infestation during their inspection. If a rat infestation is present, the homeowner is responsible for obtaining their own pest control.
- Hire a pest control company to remove the rats from your property. The homeowner is responsible for their own pest removal services at their property.
- Use rat repellents
- Use traps designed for catching rats
Please note, seeing one rat does not constitute an infestation. There must be evidence of multiple rats being harbored at the property.
I saw a rat on my property, should I call the health department?
The Montgomery County Health Department only reports to incidents of rat infestations. If you see a single rat, but no sign of multiple rats being present, please attempt to eliminate the rat.
How do I dispose of any dead rats?
Dead rats should be picked up using rubber gloves. The dead rat should be sprayed with household disinfectant and double-bagged using two plastic bags. The dead rat can then be placed in a covered trash can that is regularly emptied.