No one wants rats in their home. They can carry diseases and damage your home. Rats are small rodents that have long tails and pointy noses. They are usually around 9 inches long, including the tail, weigh about a pound, and come in various colors. They can be endearing little creatures for pets, but you certainly don’t want them to invade your home! Knowing the signs of a rat infestation is imperative to eliminating them.

How do rats get inside?

Rats are one of the most difficult critters to eliminate once they’ve infested a home or building. So how do these pesky creatures get inside in the first place?

There are a few ways rats can enter a home or building. The most common is through openings or cracks in the foundation or exterior walls. Rats can also squeeze through small holes in doors and windows. Once inside, they’ll start building their nests and reproduce. If food is available, rats will repeatedly return to the same location.

Common signs of a rat infestation

A rat infestation can be a serious problem for any home. Learn to recognize these common signs of a rat infestation:

  • Droppings

One of the most common signs of a rat infestation is droppings. Rat droppings are small, dark brown pellets about 3/4 of an inch long and 1/4 of an inch wide. They have smooth, shiny surfaces and are typically found in areas where rats nest or travel. Droppings can vary in size and shape depending on the type of rat, but all droppings should be avoided as they may contain harmful bacteria.

  • Chew Marks

Rats are known to gnaw on various things, both inside and outside of the home. Some common items include wood, plastic, paper, and cloth. While they will chew on just about anything, they do have a preference for materials that are soft or pliable. Rats usually gnaw on these materials to sharpen their teeth or relieve boredom. If you’ve ever found what appear to be bite marks on your food, cloth, or wood, they may be made by a rat. Rat teeth are large and spaced out, so their chewing will leave behind jagged, irregular marks.

  • Nests

Rats are known to be some of the cleanest animals in the world, and their nests are no exception. A rat’s nest is usually made up of soft materials like shredded paper or fabric and is lined with grass, leaves, or other plant matter. Interestingly, rats will often use their own fur to line their nests. This helps to keep the nest warm and comfortable for the baby rats. While that may seem sweet, this is not a wild critter you want in your home.

  • Footprints

If you think you may have rats in your home, one of the things you should do is look for rat footprints. Here are some tips on recognizing rat footprints: Look for small, dark footprints about ¾ of an inch long. These will typically be found along walls, in cabinets, or in other tight spaces.

  • Noise

Another sign of a rat problem is hearing them. Rats are active at night and are relatively quiet, so their noises can be hard to hear. There are several ways to tell if you have rats based on the noise they make. The most common noise that rats make is a high-pitched squeak. This sound is usually made when they are fighting or courting. If you hear multiple rats squeaking at the same time, you likely have a significant infestation. Another noise that rats make is scratching or gnawing. This sound usually indicates damage to your property as rats try to create nesting material or access food sources.

Recognizing the signs of a rat infestation is the first crucial step to eliminating them from your property. The second step is to call a professional rodent control company! DM Pest Control is ready to help ensure that your property is rat-free and will help keep your family and pets safe.