How to Spot the Signs of Rats on your Property

21 February 2023

Estimated reading time: 1 minute

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If you suspect a rat infestation in your home or business, it’s important to act quickly. Rats can cause damage and spread disease, so it’s essential to identify and eliminate the problem as soon as possible

Since rats are more active at night, it can be challenging to spot them. However, there are some signs that you can look out for that could indicate a potential rat problem.

The common signs of a rat infestation

Tell-tale signs of rats and mice include:

1. Droppings

Rats leave behind small, dark brown droppings that can be found near their nesting areas or feeding spots.

2. Urine odours

The strong, ammonia-like smell of rat urine is a clear indication of their presence.

3. Gnawed holes

Rats have strong teeth and love to chew on anything they can find, including wood, plastic, and metal.

4. Rub and gnaw marks

Rats leave marks on surfaces where they travel, as they rub their oily fur against walls or floors and gnaw on objects.

5. Rodent runways

Rats create paths or runways through insulation, along pipes or wires, and behind walls.

6. Rodent nests

Rats build nests out of materials like shredded paper, fabric, and insulation in warm, secluded areas.

7. Scampering noises

Rats are most active during the night, and you may hear the sound of their feet running across floors or in walls.

8. Unusual pet behaviour

Cats and dogs may become more alert and interested in certain areas of the house where rats are present.

9. Footprints

Rats can leave foot and tail marks in dusty, less-used areas of buildings. To check for an active infestation, sprinkle fine flour or talc near the footprints and look for fresh tracks the next day.

Rat Control

What are the telltale signs of rats outside your property?

Rats can climb, jump, gnaw, and burrow, so it’s important to thoroughly check both the inside and outside of your property for signs of infestation. Here are some common places you should look for evidence of rats:

  1. Tunnels or “runs” alongside walls, fences, or buildings that are up to 10cm wide.
  2. Cylindrical droppings that are around 15mm long and 5mm wide.
  3. Gnawed wood, especially in areas where food is stored.
  4. Parallel teeth marks in crops.

In addition, there are specific areas around your property that you should check for signs of rat activity:

  • Decking: Check the edges for signs of gnawing and burrowing. Rats often use the space underneath decking to nest.
  • Sheds and outbuildings: Look for rat holes around the edges of these structures, as they like to burrow next to solid structures like walls.
  • Garages: Check for gaps around door frames or holes gnawed at the bottom of wooden doors. If you have an integral garage, check around the internal door as well as any vents that could give rats entry into other internal areas.
  • Compost bins: Rats are attracted to warm compost heaps because they contain food. Check the lid and base of compost bins for holes and gnaw marks.
  • Vegetation: Look for rat holes among tree and shrub roots, in overgrown vegetation, or nearby wasteland.
  • Drains: Check for damage to drain covers or holes dug next to them. Rats can use drains to gain access to your property.

How do you tell if there are rats in your business?

Worried you might have rats inside your business? Here are some places to check for signs of a rat infestation:

  • Lofts and attics – Keep an eye out for shredded loft insulation, gnawed items, and rat droppings in corners and inside cardboard boxes.
  • Kitchens and laundries – Take a look behind appliances like cookers, washing machines, dishwashers, and tumble dryers. Don’t forget to check any gaps where pipework or cables enter your property from outside.
  • Out-of-sight areas – Young rats can squeeze into tight spaces such as crawlspaces, suspended ceilings, and even cavity walls, so be sure to check these locations too.

By being vigilant and keeping an eye out for the telltale signs of rats, you can identify an infestation early and take action to get rid of these unwanted visitors.

How Acorn Deals with Rat infestations

We use a combination of traps, poisons and bait blocks to get rid of your rat infestation problem fast, and with the minimum amount of disruption to your day-to-day routine.
Acting quickly is key to controlling the level of infestation, and our rat exterminator can provide effective rat control treatments tailored to your specific needs.

Contact us today to discuss your options and find peace of mind that comes with your home or business being a rat-free area.

Got a rat problem? Let’s get it solved

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