Rat Prevention: Information for Pest Management Professionals

The following is a list of best practices for how pest management professionals should control rats. Educate your customers on how to recognize infestation and prevent rats on their property.

To order copies of the Health Department’s Guide to Preventing Rats on Your Property (PDF) to hand out, call 311.


Inspect before offering a quote and base the quote on inspection findings. A good professional will provide their customer with results from their inspection report along with a plan for treatment, including referrals for structural repairs if required. To start this process, the Health Department recommends you use a simple:

Visit Often

Visit the property often until the job is done. Most moderate-to-severe rat infestations require five to seven visits before the rats have been controlled to levels low enough for the service to be reduced to a monthly or bi-weekly service schedule. The first three visits are often made weekly to monitor progress and note any special problems or safety issues.

Use Proper Equipment

Use tamper-resistant, well-secured bait stations to deliver bait and monitor rat populations throughout the service period. Always follow the regulation for pesticide applications and the instructions on the pesticide label. Keep pesticides away from children and pets.

Use Certified Professionals

Employ well-trained certified pesticide applicators with the proper credentials for applying rat bait. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation offers certification.

Rat bait application requires a higher skill level than treating cockroaches inside of buildings. Rat control programs are not a good fit for having the service delegated to technicians who have minimal training, and who are supervised via the phone by someone back in the main office.

Rat poisons applied by novices or non-trained personnel can, and have, killed pets and wildlife. This has led to legal action against pest control companies.

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