One problem that anyone with a garage can experience is rats. Rats love to get their way into garages because they are warm, and often have some materials that they can chew through and burrow into. A garage is basically a rats greatest dream. But is it a persons?
You may know how to get rid of rats once you have them, but do you know how to prevent them from getting into the garage in the first place?
Obviously, the main reason that rats get into a space is by holes. Everyone can conjure to mind the picture of Jerry the mouse slamming his door to his hole in the baseboard. Obviously Jerry was a cartoon mouse, and not a real rat but the point remains. HOLES are how they get in folks. I walk around my garage real quick about once a month just taking a quick survey of the lower perimeter to make sure that there aren’t any holes or compromised siding. Making sure that my garage has a secure perimeter can do the bulk of the job in keeping the garage clear of pests.
Another easy way to keep your garage clear of rats is to make sure that you keep the garage clean. Now, I’m not gonna say that I always keep my garage completely pristine, I mean I’ve got two kids at home in the midst of a pandemic so sweeping and keeping everything beautifully organized is not exactly high on my list of priorities. BUT. One thing that I do make sure is that I keep the garage clear of food. The garage is a pretty common place to store extra pantry items, bird seed and pet food. But keeping those things tightly sealed and clear of the floor or work surfaces is greatly helpful. Make sure that pet food is kept in secure containers, such as a bucket with a screw top lid. Same with bird seed and pantry items. I typically make sure to keep already opened bags of chips and things of that matter either out of the garage, or in totally sealed containers as well.
Of course, you can keep food sealed, or inspect the perimeter of the garage for holes, but you are always going to have the garage door as a possible point of entry. We get so many calls from people telling us about how the rats won’t stop chewing through the bottom astragal on their garages to get in! Once a rat chews through the astragal, it needs to be replaced which is all well and good until it happens again. So, how do you prevent it from happening?
So, bear with me here because this is a really weird tip but it is shockingly effective. Just use hot sauce! If you take a cloth covered in how sauce and just rub it into the astragal it can work exceedingly well to deter rodents. I recommend reapplying it monthly. It’s kind of similar to using hot pepper water on garden plants! The spice of the sauce is not palatable to rats so they completely avoid the astragal.
It may sound like a lot of work to reapply the hot sauce monthly, but coupled with walking around the garage it literally takes about 5 to 10 minutes, and cleaning up after rats is a lot more work- that is way more disgusting.
Of course, if applying hot sauce isn’t your thing and you’d like a little more of an official tactic you can have rodent proof astragal installed on your garage door. This astragal is reinforced with steel wool which the rats are completely unable to chew through! Rodent proof astragal can be a very effective method of getting rid of rats. There are a couple of draw backs to this type of astragal, mostly that It’s not cheap and needs to be installed by two people. Hung Right Doors charges more for a two-man service call then we do for a one man, as well as charging the cost of the astragal per foot. The astragal is also difficult to get to seal to the garage floor unless it’s completely level.
If you decide that the rodent proof astragal is not for you, but the hot sauce isn’t enough then you can actually stuff the ends of your garage with steel wool! This is kind of a DIY approach, but it’s relatively effective especially if you couple it with the other methods.