Hearing a scratching noise, dirty runways, and smelling an unpleasant odor have freaked you out? As rats are active only at night, it’s always tricky for homeowners to determine if they have gotten a rat infestation. If you notice cables, plastic bags, food items, or furniture being gnawed or moved from their original positions, chances are you are in trouble.

While these rats quickly know how to find hiding spots, they leave behind signs to alarm you about their presence. Here are nine hints that indicate you’ve gotten rats in your home.

Identifying Signs of Rat Presence

Rat Droppings9 Signs You've Got Rats

The dark brown, moist rat droppings found under furniture, in kitchen cabinets, drawers, and cupboards indicate the presence of rats. As time passes, the droppings change to grey and get a dry texture.

These rat droppings are usually spindle-shaped, like a grain of rice. Rats generally produce nearly 40 droppings per night, so you can easily find the active areas where they nest through their feces.

Foul Odor

If you haven’t found any rat-dropping but experience a smell like ammonia, chances are there is an active rat infestation. Their urine smell emits a sour odor that your nose won’t miss.

However, if only one or two rats exist, it may not be noticeable. Further, a dead rat leaves a sharp, pungent smell that remains for days, even weeks.

Gnaw Marks9 Signs You've Got Rats

Gnaw marks occur when rats chew through bags, wires, cardboard, rubber, etc., searching for food. If you find any holes in walls or other materials that appear as bite marks, that’s a pretty obvious sign of a rat.

Fresh gnaw marks appear lighter in color, but as time passes, they get darker on walls or food packaging materials. Typically, rat gnaw marks are larger, ½ inch long.

Scratching Noise

If you listen to the grinding noise, squeaking, or scratching sounds, these might be due to rats. Rats generally hover throughout the night, rushing through the cabinets, beneath the carpets, and tunneling through walls. Moreover, if you feel things are being bumped, rats could be the ones to blame.

Rodent Nests9 Signs You've Got Rats

Rodents will gather material like paper, strings, wood chippings, bits of carpet, etc., to build their nest. So, if you find any such material piled up together, it indicates the presence of rats. Moreover, you may also find rat droppings near it or bite marks on the nesting material being used.

Strange Pet Behavior

Pets like cats and dogs get a hint of the rats due to their smell or movement. Unfortunately, they cannot convey it directly and will give you signs.

So if you notice excessive barking, find them alert, or they start to paw at places like refrigerators, furniture, or others, it’s time to check for rats. Moreover, if you feel their unusual interest in any space they have not shown previously, it’s also a sign that you should examine that place for rodents.

Allergic Reactions

The rats’ fur and droppings can cause allergic reactions and aggravate asthma. So, if anyone in your home is feeling severe allergy, anaphylaxis, or asthma lately, it’s probably due to the presence of rats.

Dirty Runways

Rats and mice follow a similar path in your home to navigate from one place to another. So, they may leave footprints, dust, urine drops, or droppings while moving.

These can be along walls, pipes, wires, railings, etc. You can check these places to find any dust stains or dirt that highly indicate the presence of rats.

Grease Marks9 Signs You've Got Rats

Rats generate natural oil on their skin and hair. As they move across similar tracks, they gather oil and dirt from their fur and leave grease marks behind walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. If you look for discolored areas or dark stains on the objects, these could be due to rats.

What to Do When You Have Rats

If you find any of the signs mentioned above, it’s time to take measures to remove the possibility of rats. These rats cause health infections, contaminate food, and destroy household items.

As rats are highly adaptable rodents, hence eliminating them can be difficult; however, here are some effective and natural ways to control them:

Close any Hole in Your Home

Seal any small or larger holes in your home, as rats can easily pass through holes as little as one-fourth of an inch. So check the exterior of your home and close all entry points with caulk or sealant wherever you find the gaps.

Set Rat Traps9 Signs You've Got Rats

Mouse traps are one of the most common ways to eliminate rats. Simply bait the trap with a piece of cheese or peanut butter, as rats love these and can easily be tempted. Just ensure that you keep the rat traps away from children and pets.

Remove Trash Regularly

Trash is one of the most common places where rats make nests. Clean debris and trash every other day to minimize the chance of rat infestation. Wipe off standing water, mop the floors regularly, and throw garbage in a sealed bin.

Put Away the Food

Keep all the food packed in tight containers like metals or thick plastic. Clean away the countertops, pick up the crumbs of food scattered on the floors, and use a sealed bin for garbage management.

Use Natural Repellants

Some essential oils, like peppermint oil, are known as natural rat repellents as their smell overwhelms rats. In addition, eucalyptus, garlic, and mothballs also act as natural deterrents for rats. This is one of the easiest and most effective methods to eliminate rats, as they dislike these smells.

As a homeowner, it’s always worrisome to know you have rats in your place. To determine if you have gotten rats, we have shared the most 9 common signs. Moreover, we have also listed down some ways you can control rat infestation or eliminate if there is any.

Look for the signs of rats and learn to identify them, then use the methods mentioned above to get rid of them now!

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