Wintertime is a bothersome time for homeowners, particularly when it comes to dealing with uninvited rodents. Mice and rats are looking for a warm place to stay during the cold months, and your home is the perfect target.
It is warm, has plenty of food and water, and oftentimes offers a dark and perfect place for them to nest.
These nasty rodents just don’t rummage through your trash or steal your food. They are also excellent climbers. Anything that has a textured surface, such as stucco, wood, or metal, is a potential highway for rats and mice to enter your home.
This means that your home’s exterior is not the only place you need to be concerned about sealing off; your attic, roof, and even second-story windows are all potential entry points.
If you think that your food stored in a high cupboard is enough to keep rats away, think again. Bricks, concretes, woods, drywall, sheet metal, and trees are just some of the surfaces that are super easy for rats to climb.
To make things worse, they don’t just climb well – they also can jump from one branch to another.
This is why sealing entry points that are low and within your eye level isn’t enough to keep these rodents away. These tricky pests can also enter through weep holes, soffits, and other tiny openings you may not have noticed.
As long as they have a textured surface to grip, they will be able to climb it and reach any opening they need to enter your home.
Reasons Why Rats are Excellent Climbers
Aside from their ability to effortlessly squeeze through the tiniest openings, rats are excellent climbers because of their physiology. Their long tails help them balance, while their sharp claws allow them to grip any surface with ease.
Their ability to climb most surfaces can be accounted to the five phalanges found on their paws. They’re sharp, allowing them to grip a wide range of surfaces.
On their paws, they have pads that can tightly grip onto any surface. When they need to grip onto something slippery, their nails will extend out and dig into the material, providing them with enough traction.
Aside from their excellent grip, rats are also able to climb vertically because of their long tails. This appendage is not just for balancing – it also gives them the push they need to continue going up.
Once they’re high up, they have the ability to jump as high as 2 feet horizontally and 3 feet vertically. This is why it is crucial to keep trees or other climbing opportunities for rats to space it out at least 2 feet away from your home. \
They can survive a 50-foot tall fall, making it easier for them to enter second-story windows or roofs with ease.
Can Rats Climb Beds?
Considering the height, a rat can jump and their long tails, it is safe to say that they can climb beds with ease. Their claws are also sharp enough to grip on bed sheets and mattresses, even if your bed’s frame is made up of smooth materials.
If rats can quickly climb a two-story house with ease – your bed is nothing to them. With that being said, to prevent this from happening, it’s important to ensure that rats won’t be able to enter your bedroom by keeping it safe.
Food debris, water sources, and potential hiding spots should be removed to make it less attractive for rats. On top of that, your bedroom door should also fit snugly on its frame to prevent rats from squeezing through tiny gaps.
As much as possible, keep your bed away from walls to prevent rats from using it as a springboard to jump on top of it.
Inspect your bed regularly for signs of rat activity, such as chewing marks, droppings, or urine stains. If you see any of these, immediately take action to get rid of the problem before it gets worse.
Can Rats Climb Walls?
Given that the wall is rough enough, rats can aimlessly climb it without any problem. However, if the wall is too smooth, they will have a hard time gripping on to it. For example, rats can’t climb painted walls or glass surfaces.
The smooth surface of these materials makes it hard for rats to grip on, so they will just slide down. On the other hand, if the wall is made up of rough material like bricks or cinder blocks, wood, or metal, rats will be able to grip on and climb it without any problem.
This is one of the reasons why people with a rat infestation often hear scurrying sounds on their walls and ceilings. Rats use these surfaces to travel from one place to another, and they’re also good at hiding in these areas.
How to Prevent Rats from Climbing in your House
Homeowners go to great lengths to secure their homes from burglars but often neglect one furry intruder: rats.
If you’ve heard about the different horror stories of rats climbing into people’s homes, then you know that it’s something you should be worried about.
To prevent these from happening, here are some tips on how you can keep them from claiming your home:
Always Keep Your Yard Debris-Free
You’ve probably read this multiple times, but experts suggest this for a reason. A pile of leaves, wood, or garbage makes it easy for rats to nest and breed. If you have these in your yard, it’s just a matter of time before they find an opportunity to enter your home.
To prevent this, make sure to clean up your yard regularly and get rid of any potential hiding spots for rats. Aside from keeping them away from your home, your priority should also include keeping them away from your yard and other areas surrounding your property.
Trim Your Trees and Bushes
Do you have tall trees with branches extending toward your home? If so, then it’s time to trim them. As mentioned earlier, aside from being excellent climbers, rats are also excellent at leaping.
They can easily jump from a tree branch to your roof or second-story windows.
A few inches away from your home is not enough to keep them away. To be safe, make sure that there are no trees or bushes at least 2.5 feet of your property.
If the trees or bushes in your yard are huge and tall, you can always call a professional to help you trim them.
Install Gutter Guards
The gutters in your roof play an important role in keeping your home free from water damage. But did you know that it can also be a potential entry point for rats?
Gutters that are not properly maintained often have debris and leaves in them, not to mention holes and cracks. It can serve as a potential bridge and entry point from your yard to your home.
Gutter guards can help you prevent this from happening. These are installed on top of your gutters to keep debris, leaves, and animals out. As an added bonus, it also helps you avoid clogged gutters, which is another problem that homeowners often face.
Seal All Cracks and Holes in Your Home
To keep rats and other pests from your home is to ensure that they won’t have any access from the outside. As mentioned earlier, getting those gaps and small openings covered is one of the most important things you can do to keep pests away.
Check your foundation, floorboards, windows, and doors for any cracks or holes. All of these are potential entry points that rats and other pests can use to get into your home. Once you find them, make sure to seal them off immediately.
Caulk is a common sealant used for cracks and holes in the home. For bigger gaps, you can use spray foam insulation. If unsure or if you don’t know how to deal with these problems, you can always call a professional to help you out.
Keep Your Home Clean
Aside from the exterior, it’s also important that you keep the interior of your home clean. This is especially true for the kitchen since this is where rats and other pests are most likely to invade.
Make sure to sweep and mop your floors regularly. Wipe down your countertops and stove. Store food in airtight containers. Don’t leave any crumbs or food remnants lying around since this will attract rats and other pests.
Rats can be a real pain, and their ability to climb textured walls and surfaces makes it even more difficult to deal with them. However, by taking the necessary steps, such as sealing all potential entry points, trimming your trees and bushes, and cleaning up your yard, the chances of having them around will be greatly reduced.