Rats are an ever-present problem in urban areas. Nearly 15 million housing blocks across the USA reported signs of a rat infestation last year. Many Americans don’t know how to spot the early signs of rats in their homes.
If you’re wondering, “do I have a rat infestation?” then don’t panic. You’ll need to perform a thorough visual investigation of your house. Spotting the signs of a rat infestation early can stop them from causing any damage to your property or your health.
Here are the three main tell-tale signs of rats.
The first answer to your question of “does my house have rats?” is to look for signs of droppings. Rodent droppings are the easiest way of telling whether or not you have an infestation.
You can tell whether or not you’re dealing with mice or rats just from looking at these droppings. It will also give you an indication of where on your property the rats are spending their time.
Rat droppings are usually around 1/2 an inch or longer. New droppings will be shiny and have a firm but malleable texture, whereas old droppings are likely to be hard and crumbly.
If you find droppings and notice varying degrees of size, this could indicate a mixture of both young and old rats in the house. The area with the most droppings will be your best bet for setting traps and bait.
Rats live in nests that you can sometimes spot when looking over your house. If the nest is inside the house, it’s likely mice you’re dealing with and not rats. Mice will shred up paper, string, cardboard, or any other similar material to make a nest indoors.
Brown rats typically nest outdoors in burrows deep underground, while black rats prefer dark and sheltered places like attics, trees, or shrubbery. If you spot a rodent nest near your house, you should contact your local critter control service that can come and remove the infestation for you.
3. Rub/Gnaw Marks
Rats are creatures of habit, and they like to take the same route around your house whenever they can. Because they’re great at not being seen, they’ll often stay close to walls and furniture to stay out of sight.
When a rat runs along the wall, its fur will leave an oily rub mark on it. These marks are often dark in appearance, and fresh ones will be slick to the touch. The marks are caused by the dirt and grease that accumulates on their fur over time.
Another thing rats famously love to do is gnawing. If you’ve noticed any small teeth marks in pieces of wood around your house, this is a sign of rats.
They’ll often gnaw on skirting boards or anything else they can get their teeth on. This gnawing can cause a severe problem as rats have been known to chew through electrical cables.
It’s Best to Deal With a Rat Infestation Early
This article should adequately equip you to spot the signs of a rat infestation in your home. If you spot any of these signs, don’t linger on taking action, as rats can cause significant damage to both your property and your health.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more of our real estate and home content today.