Pest control companies offer lethal and non-lethal methods of rat removal. Reputable exterminators such as Orkin and Terminix approach rat infestations with a customized plan that targets the type of rat and the location of the infestation, as well as taking other factors into consideration. Rat traps that utilize baits and poison are one method. Catching rats without harming them and then humanely releasing them is another.
Rodenticides are poisons used by many exterminators to kill rats and other rodents. They are also harmful to humans, so it is important to use the utmost caution when employing this method of rat control. Most rodenticides are toxic when eaten or inhaled, or if they come into contact with skin. Professional exterminators should follow all EPA regulations when handling rodenticides and other pesticides.
Pest control experts suggest taking preventative steps before or after a rat infestation. A few tips include cutting down on clutter and removing any debris from the home or yard. Firewood and other loose material, such as stones and bricks, should be kept away from buildings and other structures that might become cozy homes for rodents. The most important part of prevention is closing off the rat's entryways. Any hole bigger than 1/4 inch should be securely sealed off.