5 Signs of Rat Infestation

Wild Brown rat at night

What are the signs of a rat infestation?

  1. Rotting smell of dead rats
  2. Rat manure and urine
  3. Rat damage on food and property
  4. Rat nests on small spaces
  5. Hearing rat noise


Rats are pests that take your food and destroy property. They often move at night when everyone in the house is fast asleep. That’s why spotting the presence of rats in your house may require more effort. Look around hidden parts of your house for rat infestations. You will see signs that will make you call a pest control team. Freeing your house from these pests start with knowing how to spot their whereabouts.

It is difficult to spot a live rat when looking for one. They may run past you from time to time, but seeing them in one place is rare. Rats like to hide in their nests. Seeing them out in the open can only mean that they are growing in numbers.


Rotting Smell of Dead Rats

A strong smell will come from a dead rat, especially if it died in a confined space. Finding one is tricky especially if they die in hard to reach areas like inside a wall. The smell will also last a long time until the body dries up completely. Rats in moist areas will smell strong for longer as the body dries up slower. In addition to following the odor, you may also want to look for insects that a dead rat attracts. Call a pest control team to remove the body safely because contact with a dead rat can spread viruses that can cause diseases.


Rat Manure and Urine

Brown rat on anchor rope

Rat droppings are small, dark-colored, and often around ⅜ inch long, and ⅛ inch wide. Fresh ones are moist and soft, while old droppings are dry and darker in color. These droppings have a musky and pungent odor but rat urine has a more noticeable scent. Rat droppings, especially fresh ones, are a sign of healthy rats living in your house. These droppings can be found in their nests.

Be careful in cleaning these because rat droppings and urine are a source of viruses that can cause diseases. Take special care in keeping your food storage rat-free as both rat excrement can contaminate food.

Professionals can estimate how many rats there are by looking at the number of droppings. If you’re wondering, a rat can produce around 30-55 droppings a day.


Rat Damage On Food and Property

Rats are pests because they bring damage to property and food. Rat damage includes holes, marks, and scratches in walls, ceilings, furniture, and food packaging. Rat teeth start to grow from the moment they are born and until they die. This means that rats experience teething all the time. Because of this, they like to gnaw on anything. Check on bite marks on places where rats are most likely to live.

Also check exposed food storage for packaging holes, because rats like to eat. Discard food that has bite marks to prevent the spread of viruses.

Another type of property damage is holes. Rats like to gnaw on walls to create pathways. Some like to burrow for nests or storage. In addition to lower areas of your house, also look for high hidden areas such as roofs and ceilings.


Rat Nests On Small Spaces

Brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)

Rat nests are often hidden away from human view. Some nests are made near food and water sources so keep a lookout for hidden spaces in your kitchen. Rats like to gnaw and shred materials such as cotton, paper, and fabrics to make into a nest. These can be found inside walls, small crawlspaces, cabinets, and ceiling spaces. Rats like to keep multiple nests so if you find one, then there might still be infestations on other parts of your house.


Hearing Rat Noise

If you cannot find nests or droppings, then observe if you can hear rat movement. Rat noise includes gnawing, scratching, squeaking, and scampering. Most likely, you can hear these sounds at night because rats are nocturnal.


Key Takeaway

Rats like to hide and move at night. If you want to search for rat infestations, look for signs such as dead rats, manure, damage, nests, and noise. Do not attempt to clear these nests by yourself because rat excrement and rat nests can be a source of viruses that can lead to diseases. Always consult the help of a professional pest control unit to rid your house of rats for good.