7 Signs of a Rat Infestation in Your Home

Are you wondering how to tell if unwanted pests have taken over your home? Click here for seven telltale signs of a rat infestation in your home.

rat infestation

According to some research, 14.8 million households saw rodents in their home in the last year.

If you’re also in the same situation, then you might have a rat infestation. However, seeing one rat doesn’t mean that you have an infestation.

Keep reading to learn about all the signs that you might need to hire pest control.

1. Rat Droppings

The first thing you should look for is rat droppings. This can help you figure out if you have a rat or mouse infestation. You should start by looking in common areas, like bins, cupboards, drawers, kitchen cabinets, or pantries.

Anywhere that a rat might be looking for a source of food, you should investigate for droppings.

Keep in mind that since rats are larger than mice, they have bigger droppings. Their droppings are normally 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch long. They are also crescent-shaped and black and shiny.

Keep in mind that it largely depends on the diet of the rat as well. Mouse droppings are normally smaller and are about the size of a grain of rice. They’re often thin with pointed ends.

While you don’t want any type of rodent infestation, this can help you learn what you’re dealing with so that you can treat it appropriately.

2. Strange Sounds

You may also hear strange sounds from the rats inside your house. Rats are more active at night, so you may be awake hearing them.

You might hear things like scratching on your hallways or in your walls. You could also hear scampering or squeaking.

They might be inside your walls as well. However, they can get out of the walls and be wandering around your house looking for food.

3. Weird Smells

Rodents will give off a strange smell, and if there is a rodent infestation, then you might notice it more than you would if it was just one rat. Everyone describes the rat smells differently.

However, if you’re near a nest, you might notice a musty ammonia smell. This comes from the urine in the nest of the rats. If the nest is in a cabinet and you open it, you might notice the smell gets even stronger.

Some people have said that rat infestations smell like:

  • Grape soda
  • Popcorn
  • Corn chips
  • Corn tortillas
  • Maple syrup

The smells of the rodents might be related to the types of diseases that they carry as well. For example, the bacteria that smells like corn is normally in the urinary tract of rats and mice. If humans inhale it, it can cause respiratory infections.

If one of the rats dies inside of the walls, you may also notice that there is a strong sour odor. This can last for days or weeks, and it’ll be difficult to narrow down where it’s coming from.

4. Strange Marks

You might also have strange marks on your home. Inspect your siding, ducts, pipes, and rafters for any gnaw marks.

Wood is the rat’s favorite material to gnaw on. Other common areas might be window and door frames, cabinets, and baseboards. The recent gnawing will look light-colored, while older marks will be darker.

Rats can also eat through electrical wires, so you should check to see if those are damaged as well. Sometimes they can also chew through food packaging in order to find new foods. One food that they really prefer is dog food because it tastes and smells meaty.

Rats are creatures of habit, and they will likely have the same path back to their nests. They might leave these paths near the walls because they might feel safer there.

Rats are also greasy, and they might leave dirty streaks on your walls and baseboards as they wander around. This is a good hint that there are rats even if you don’t see them.

5. Nests

Rats also tend to build their nests in concealed places. However, they do have attributes that will make them recognizable to people who might not be familiar with rodents.

Nests are typically in an undisturbed location. For example, this could be in plant matter, cardboard, shredded paper, fabric scraps, or any other pile that you haven’t touched in a while.

Rats could be in your basement, your home’s foundation, or in the attic, so you should investigate thoroughly.

6. Pets Act Strangely

Your pets might start acting strangely as well, especially if you have a cat or a dog. Your pet might realize that the rats are there before you do.

They’ll likely smell or hear something new. if you notice that your pet is acting strangely or has been barking a lot or is interested in one area, then you should start searching for signs of a rat nest.

7. Staining

Rats will avoid humans as much as possible, so there’s a good chance that you might never see them. However, you can tell if you have them by seeing the staining from their footprints.

Since rats are in areas that aren’t frequented by people, they tend to be dustier as well. You might be able to see rat footprints if you look closely in the dust.

There might also be mysterious stains on your floor and baseboards, and they can appear overnight as the rats scurry around.

Discover More Signs of a Rat Infestation

These are only a few of the most common signs of a rat infestation, but if you notice any of these signs, you should find a pest control company.

A pest control company can help you get rid of the rats and get your clean home back.

Check out our website to learn about how we handle rat infestations and how we can help you.