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10 Signs You Need to Call a Rat Exterminator for a Rat Infestation in Your Home

Knowing whether or not you have a rat in your home isn’t always easy. They can be quite clever. However, being able to recognize the signs enables you to quickly contact exterminator companies before the rats can cause a serious problem. Here are 10 signs that you have a rat infestation in your home.

1. Rat Droppings

If you spot rat droppings, then it’s a good indicator that you have at least one rat in your home. If you notice a lot of poop, then it may still be only one rat. That’s because rats can produce around 40 droppings in a single night.

These droppings are usually concentrated in a single area. While rats do poop while they’re out exploring for food, most of their droppings will be in an area close to where they rest.

Droppings resemble small, oval, beans. They almost look like seeds. You should never touch droppings with your bare hands. Wear gloves when cleaning the area out to prevent contamination.

2. Dark Marks

Because rats have poor eyesight, they usually rely on walls to help them determine a path. They continue to follow this path until they’re forced to flee from an area. Since their bodies collect grease and dust, it’s common to find rub marks in areas where they had to squeeze through.

Those areas are usually brown in nature. Exterminator companies can use those marks to help them find where the rats are housed. This can make exterminating them faster and easier.

3. Scratching Noises

The two main types of rats–black and brown–emit scratching sounds at night. Black rats are notorious climbers. They’re able to climb up to roofs and enter the attic. That’s why they’re often called roof rats. These rats make scratching or scuttling sounds as they travel through the attic.

Brown rats aren’t as good at climbing, but they make scratching sounds as well. They need to bite and chew on things to grind down their teeth. You may hear them scratching their teeth on the wood in the walls or on other hard surfaces.

4. Rat Holes

The cartoonish rat hole in a wall isn’t too far from the truth. Except rats usually prefer to burrow in the ground. Brown rats, in particular, excel at building extensive underground networks. Just like a bug exterminator, an exterminator hunting for rats will need to look around buildings for areas where the rat is getting inside.

They usually build a hole beside the side of a wall or other structures. This allows them to easily sneak inside of the home, take what they want, then return to the safety of their underground home.

Take a walk around your home and look for any holes that reside close to the side of your house.

5. Rat Nests

Sometimes rats will make a nest inside of the home, too. They’ll remove pieces of soft insulation, cardboard, paper, and various scavenged cloth to create their nests. Their teeth and nails allow them to shred the material in order to construct a secure nest.

Rats prefer to nest in hard-to-reach areas. Those may be located in your attic, within your walls, or even in high areas of the home. You’ll hear scuttling or scratching noises the most in these areas. It’s also where you’re likely to find a good helping of rat droppings.

6. Footprints

To find out if you have an active rat in your home, exterminator companies suggest leaving a trail of talc powder or flour in an area where you think the rats are located. They often leave footprints and a tail mark. If you notice fresh marks the next day, then you know you have a rat actively wandering around in your home.

They can also sometimes leave prints on their own. If they step in the mud outside, then they can track it in. This also extends to walking in anything that’s inside of the home.

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7. Bite Marks

Chewing is one of the damages that rats can do to your home. Like exterminator roaches, exterminators for rats need to move quickly to limit the destruction of a home. In particular, rats love to chew on wooden objects and wires. They chew to help grind down their teeth and nails.

You may find chewed wires in your home, chewed cardboard, or even chunks missing out of a wooden table or railing.

8. Holes in Food

Rats will definitely eat your food if you leave it on the counter. They’re not afraid to chew through cereal boxes to get the cereal or eat fruit that’s laying in a bowl. If you notice chewed food, then you may have a rat or some other type of vermin in your home.

You may even be able to spot a trail of food heading back to their lair.

9. Foul Smell

Because they’re no strangers to lurking in the garbage, rats often carry a smell with them. You may smell something musky and unpleasant. This scent may be concentrated near their nest or rat hole.

10. Urine Spots

Rats urinate everywhere. You may notice discolorations on certain fabrics or in areas on the wall where rats scurried over. Those areas will also smell like urine.

Rat Exterminators Can Identify an Infestation

Rat infestations can cause serious damage to your home and to the health of your family. Look for these 10 signs to determine if you need to call a rat exterminator to get rid of your rat infestation.