Rat and Rodent Prevention Tips

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.