Rat Infestations

Oct 6, 2016 | Animal Removal

Rats are among the many annoying household pests that can infest your home. They carry diseases posing a threat to your health, and their eating habits and other behaviors are destructive to your home. Understanding the signs of a rat infestation will help you keep your home safe and clean.

Signs of an Infestation

Rats like to hide from humans, so if you’re able to see a rat in your house, that probably means your home is already infested. But you don’t have to see a rat to know you have a problem. Rat droppings are one of the first indicators that rats are around. These droppings mean you have a healthy, feeding population. You may also be able to hear them squeaking, scurrying around, and building their nests. Since their more active at night, you may not notice this at first.

Rats also leave behind less obvious evidence of their existence, so pay attention to the little details of your home for more indicators of an infestation. For example, rats tend to leave behind dirt marks and grease stains on your walls near the floor. They also trickle urine with almost each step they take, which will leave a musty odor in your home. Look out for evidence of gnawing as well. Rats love to gnaw on wood, plastic, food, and even some metals and glass, so check your cabinets, tables, and plumbing for bite marks.

Rats are great climbers, jumpers, gnawers, and burrowers who like to build their nests in warm, dry places. Be sure to check your attics, garages, decks, sheds, and cabinets for signs of an infestation.

a rat under some rocks

Risks of an Infestation

Rats in your home present many health risks. They can transmit diseases directly to anyone in your home, contaminate your food and water with urine and pellets, and spread mites and fleas to your pets.

They aren’t just a health risk, though. Rats can cause significant damage to your home because of their tendency to chew. If they chew through electrical wire, they could start a house fire, but they can also chew through walls, ceilings, and flooring, causing massive amounts of damage.

Treatments

If you have a rat infestation, the best solution is to have professional exterminators remove them from your home. You may have success treating small infestations yourself with traps and poisons, but these aren’t always effective and pose a threat to pets and small children.

Prevention

Don’t give rats the opportunity to thrive in your home. Rat proof your home by covering up small gaps and openings in your roof, walls, and foundation to reduce their chances of getting inside your home. Clean up food leftovers and spills and store pet food in plastic containers so they won’t come to your house when they’re hungry. Keep your home clean and free of clutter and rats will be less likely to live with you.

Pest infestations can disrupt the peace of a happy home. Look out for the signs of rats in your house so you can keep your home clean and your family safe.