Signs of Rats

Rats

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Signs of Rats

Have you heard scratching noises or come across small dark brown droppings? If so then you could potentially have a rat infestation – but don’t worry we're here to help.

If you think you have a possible rat infestation please call us now on 0800 218 2210 to speak to our experts about our fast effective rat control treatments.

Rats are most active during the night therefore it is often easier to spot the signs of a rat infestation than the actual rat. 

Below we have explained the signs that could indicate that you have a potential rat problem. 

  • Rat Droppings - Brown Rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape - like a grain of rice.
  • Rub Marks - Grease and dirt on their bodies leaves smudges on surfaces.
  • Scratching Noises - Black rats are agile climbers and often found in lofts to you might hear scratching noises at night.
  • Rat Holes - Brown rats are well known for digging extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting.
  • Rat Nests - Rats will shred available materials such as loft insulation, cardboard and other soft items to make nests.
  • Footprints - Rats leave foot and tail marks in dusty, less-used areas of buildings.

If you have heard scratching noises or spotted any of the signs mentioned, we recommend acting quickly to ensure the potential infestation doesn’t spread any further.

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What To Look For To Identify Signs Of Rats

Rat Droppings

Rat Droppings

Tend to be found concentrated in specific locations as rats produce up to 40 droppings per night. Brown rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape – resembling a large grain of rice.

Rub Marks of from a Rat Infestation

Rub Marks

Rats use established routes along skirting boards and walls due to their poor eyesight. Grease and dirt on their bodies leave smudges and dark marks on both objects and surfaces they repeatedly brush against.

A cable chewed by rats - courtesy of S Quinn, EEC247 Ltd

Scratching Noises

Black rats are agile climbers, earning them their common name – the roof rat. Often found in lofts, you may hear scratching noises at night. Brown rats can be identified by a grinding noise they make with their teeth.

Rat Hole from a Rat Infestation

Rat Holes

Brown rats are well known for digging and excavating extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. They build rat burrows next to solid objects or structures.

Rat Nests

Rat Nests

Rats nest in burrows but also rat nests can be found in lofts, attics, under eaves and even in cavity walls. They will shred available materials such as loft insulation, cardboard and other soft items to make nests.

Rat Footprints

Footprints

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

Where to Check for Rats Inside a Building

    • Lofts & attic spaces - look for shredded loft insulation, chewed items and rat droppings (rat poo) in corners and inside items like cardboard boxes.
    • Kitchens & laundries - look behind appliances like cookers, washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers. In fact, check any gaps where pipework or cables enter your property from outside.
    • Out of sight - and possibly out of mind locations, such as crawlspaces, suspended ceilings and even cavity walls can be squeezed into by young rats.

Where to Check for Rats Outside your Property

Where in your home or business should you start checking for the signs of rats, their nests and damage they can cause? Rats are agile climbers, who can jump, gnaw and burrow so realistically you should check your property from top to bottom, inside and out. Here are some common places you might find evidence of a rat infestation.

    • Decking - check the edges of decked areas for signs of damage from gnawing and burrowing.
    • Sheds - look for rat holes (entrances to burrows) around the edges of sheds and out buildings.
    • 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, and any vents that could give entry into other internal areas.
    • Compost bins - compost heaps attract rats because they are warm and contain food. Check lid and base of composters for holes and gnaw marks.
    • Vegetation - look for rat holes among tree and shrub roots, in overgrown vegetation or nearby wasteland.
    • Drains - check if drain covers are damaged or if there are holes dug next to the drain covers.

Worried About Rats ?

If you think you have rats, it is important to act quickly to control the level of infestation and reduce the health risks posed by these rodent. You can also take practical steps now to proof your home or business and help prevent rats.

Call us free on 0800 218 2210 to arrange for effective treatments to get rid of rats quickly.

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