Prevent a Rodent Issue

How can I prevent rats from becoming a problem on my property?

To control rodents you must remove easy access to things they need to survive: food, shelter, and water. Like any animal, rats live in a neighborhood because they can find the resources that they need. Removal of these resources is necessary for the prevention and long-term reduction of rodent activity. 


  • Use trash containers with secure lids, and always keep them tightly closed. NEVER store trash outside of a securely closed barrel. 
  • Regularly inspect your trash cans for signs of entry by rats, and clean them periodically to discourage feeding.
  • Refrain from leaving food out for birds, stray cats, or other animals. Any food that is available to other wildlife will also be available to rats, providing them with a constant food source and allowing them to quickly multiply. 


  • Keep outdoor plants trimmed so that they don't touch the house or other buildings. Trim them so you have a clear view of the ground. This will help discourage burrowing.
  • Remove trash and yard debris frequently to eliminate possible burrowing areas.
  • Store boxes, firewood, and equipment off the ground at least 18inches and away from walls.
  • Regularly inspect the exterior of your home for holes or gaps that could provide rat or mouse entry, and take steps to remove these entry points as soon as possible. Common places for these holes to develop:
    • Around pipes, cables, or wires that enter the home, or are uncovered by dryer vents
    • Basement windows or doors that are left open, damaged, or not tightly installed, and thus have gaps that allow entry. 


  • Empty all sources of standing water so that they don't sit out overnight such as birdbaths, water bowls for pets, or other outdoor items that can hold water.
  • Repair water leaks or drips at faucets, hoses, AC units that could cause long-term standing water


Preventing Rats on Your Property - A Guide for Lowell Property Owners 

Trash Control for Businesses