Rats

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Signs of Rats

Rats are most active between dusk and dawn therefore it is often easier to spot the signs of a rat problem, rather than an actual rodent.

What do you need to do?

If you do see any of the signs mentioned below you need to act quickly to ensure any potential rat infestation is controlled quickly before it can spread, So call us for a free quote on 6347 8138 and speak to a local expert who will be able help you.

We recommend acting quickly as rats are well known to spread diseases, damage property, contaminate food stuffs and also introduce parasites like fleas, lice and ticks into your property.

What To Look For To Identify Signs Of Rats

Below you can quickly learn how to easily identify the most important signs that will indicate that you could have a problem with rats.

  • Rat Droppings - Brown Rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape - like a grain of rice.
  • Bite Marks - Rats tend to gnaw on wood and plastic to keep their teeth trimmed.
  • 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.

Rat Droppings

Rat Droppings

Usually found in concentrated areas as rats can produce up to 40 droppings per night. Brown rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape about 9–14mm long. They can resemble a large grain of rice.

Bite Marks

Rats have a set of teeth that grow continuously. They need to gnaw on wood and plastic to keep them trim. You may also notice ripped food packaging, as rats tear open food, leaving visible teeth marks.

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 (also known as the roof rat) are agile climbers and can easily gain access into loft spaces and upper floors of buildings. Hearing scratching noises at night from above may suggest their presence. 

Rat Hole from a Rat Infestation

Burrows

Brown rats are well known for digging and excavating extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. Look for burrows in compost heaps, under decking or garden sheds, or in garages.

Rat Nests

Rat Nests

Rats build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests will often contain young rats and are usually located close to a food source. Check behind and under appliances, such as fridges and freezers in or near your kitchen.

Rat Footprints

Footprints (Running Tracks)

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 along a small stretch of floor 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.

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