Rats can spread disease and interfere with economic and physical well-being. Rats are predominately burrowing rodents. They are most active at night and are seldom seen during the day except if there is a large rat population. Rats will eat almost anything and often feed on pet or bird seed.
Signs of Rat Activity
- Droppings: shiny and dark colored when fresh
- Runways: rats use the same trails from burrow to food, water and shelter
- Burrows: found along walls, wood piles, and concrete slabs
- Gnawing: rats must gnaw to keep their front teeth worn down
Each homeowner or business can control the physical environment to limit rat populations. In the city of Wauwatosa it is the responsibility of property owners to prevent conditions on their property that provide a home or food source for rats.
- Eliminating food sources
- Use a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid for storing garbage
- Do not leave pet food where rats can have access to it
- Do not put food scraps in your compost pile or use the pit method of composting
- Bird feeders may also be a source of food for rats
- Eliminate harborage
- Get rid of all rubbish, junk, and unwanted materials where rats can hide and live
- Store building materials, firewood, etc. at least 18 inches above the ground
- Grass clippings and tree trimmings can provide additional harborage
- Prevent rats from entering buildings by closing all access route
- Poison or trapping can be used to supplement good prevention practices but should not be used as a substitute for prevention
- Rat poison is sold by many companies and is available to the general public - be sure to follow all instructions on the label completely
- Trapping may be effective if populations are small
If help is needed, contact a professional pest control specialist.
Do you have rats on your property?
We respond to complaints about rats and mice and provide information about rodent control and enforcement according to the Wauwatosa ordinance. We do not offer baiting or elimination services but can refer you to pest control companies.
You can report illegal dumping of garbage and solid waste on private property to the Wauwatosa Department of Property Maintenance at (414) 479-8981.