You'd know if you had rats, right? Would you see one scampering across the floor or climbing up your stairs? Well... maybe not. Rats are pretty timid creatures, and they can live in your home for weeks or months before you actually see one. Since it's always best to deal with an infestation early, keep an eye out for these other signs that you may have rats in your home:
Rat droppings look like black grains of rice. Keep in mind that rats are larger than mice, so if you've seen mouse droppings before, rat droppings will look similar but will be three or four times larger in size. You may see the droppings hidden in corners, behind insulation, or within your cabinets or wall spaces.
Rats are not known for their cleanliness. They venture inside and out, and when the weather is wet, it's common for their paws to become wet with mud. Watch out for rat tracks on your hard floors. Little scuffs of mud and dirt that seemingly appear out of nowhere may be rat tracks. You may also notice mud scuffs up your walls and door frames. These are left by rats that climb up the walls or scratch on them.
Missing Insulation and Soft Materials
Rats love to build nests out of soft materials like fiberglass insulation and torn-up stuffing from pillows. If you are noticing mysterious tufts of stuffing or similar materials around your home, or if there are holes where your insulation has been fluffed and pulled at, these could be signs of a rat infestation.
Take a look at your cardboard and plastic food storage boxes. If there are holes nibbled into the corners or the edges, those holes may have been created by rats. They're pretty great at nibbling through even tough plastic containers.
Those scratches coming from your attic or crawlspace are not a ghost -- they're probably rats. Mice don't really scratch excessively, and their running sounds more like a gentle pitter-pat. Rats, however, make loud and annoying scraping noises, especially late at night when you really want to sleep.
If you think there may be rats in your home, contact a pest control company immediately. They can eradicate the rats using traps and poisons, and then they can take some steps to ensure more rats do not enter your home through cracks and holes. Contact a local rat pest control service for more information and assistance.