Rat Infestation Signs

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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.

What to look for to identify signs of rats

Rat droppings are a disgusting common sign of rats

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 are another common sign of rats

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.

Rats will chew anything, even cables.

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's will gnaw holes to navigate structures

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.

Rats make a lot of mess where they nest

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.

If you see rat footprints, or any sign of rats, contact Western Exterminator

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 rodents. You can also take practical steps now to proof your home or business and help prevent rats.

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Next steps for Western Exterminator rat control

If you are concerned about the signs of rats you’ve seen around your property and think they point to a serious rat infestation, the time has come to contact your local Western Exterminator office. Once you contact our office and speak to your representative about the signs of rats you’ve seen, one of our rat control specialists will visit and conduct a thorough inspection of your property. Our rat exterminator specialists will offer the best solution to get control of the rats around your property. Additionally, our specialists will discuss the rat prevention solutions which will work best for you.


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