January 10, 2022
Who lives in your home? Chances are your home (or business) offers refuge to a few dozen (or hundred) beings more than you think.
Infestations of the big, aggressive Norway rat or the lonely roof rat who likes to live near humans are common in North Texas. These critters scurry inside to escape the cold or steal your food when outdoor sources grow scarce.
Unfortunately, these roommates are not respectful, causing destruction and potentially carrying dangerous diseases into your home or business.
Concerned that you might have an infestation? Read on to learn about the signs of rats so you’ll know what to watch for and when to call a pest professional!
1. Scratching or Scurrying Sounds
Rats tend to be most active at night, which gives you a wonderful opportunity to listen for the sounds of their activity. After everyone has hit the hay for the night, take a few moments to listen to your house. The kitchen is a good place to start since the critters will be looking for a snack.
When all is quiet do you hear tiny scratching or scurrying sounds? You might even hear a faint squeaking as the critters gossip about their days.
Are you wondering how those little dried-up raisins got in your garage? Or maybe you’re noticing them in the bottom of your pantry or in drawers in your kitchen.
Who is being so darn clumsy with their raisins?
We hate to break it to you, but they probably aren’t raisins and you’re probably dealing with a serious rat infestation.
Fresh droppings will look dark and moist, just like a juicy raisin. However, they will shrivel as they age and turn gray. Keep a sharp eye out for rat droppings. Accidental ingestion can make you seriously ill and some rats carry diseases that are deadly to humans.
3. Chew Holes or Gnaw Marks
Rats are large enough that they often have to make their own entrances to get into your home or business. Keep an eye out for holes in the walls or ceiling. Since rats are notorious climbers, you might want to inspect the soffits. This area under the eaves is a perfect place for rats to enter the building.
Rats will chew on anything including plastic, fabric, paintings, cardboard, even electrical wires. Keep a sharp eye out for bite marks on just about anything.
If you find holes, examine them closely for gnaw marks. This sign is good not only for alerting you to your rat problem but also for telling a professional what kind of rodent is infesting your home. This will help them know what methods are best to send your unwelcome guests packing.
4. Rat Nests
Have you found bits of shredded paper, plant matter, fabric, and other materials stuffed into nooks and crannies around your home? Before you start yelling at your kids for making a mess, take a closer look. You may have found a rat nest.
Inspect the area for droppings, signs of gnawing, or little rodent tracks. You might get lucky and find an old nest from a previous infestation. But if you see fresh droppings or other signs of recent activity you can bet the farm you’ve got an active infestation.
5. Stale Smell
Imagine hordes of little creatures living within your walls or ceiling. They’re all running around leaving little presents everywhere (did you know a single rat can produce 40 droppings in a single night!). Plus, rat urine has a super sharp smell. Finding the puddle isn’t necessary to know that rat pee is nearby.
Furthermore, rats are always digging through the garbage and it’s not like they enjoy a daily bath. They’re stinky little critters!
All this filth produces an unpleasant smell. At the beginning of an infestation, it might be too faint to notice. But once you have more rats than you can shake a stick at milling around in your building, the smell will become considerably stronger!
6. Rodent Paths
Like most of us, rats are creatures of habit. Once they find a good path to a watering hole or food source, they’ll often follow the same path over and over as they trek back and forth. The fact that they have poor eyesight also contributes to this.
This activity will eventually lead to little rodent paths. Watch for dark, greasy smudges on walls, ceilings, between stair banisters, and anywhere else that rats might pass through.
If you suspect that you’ve found a rat trail, try leaving a tiny bit of flour or baby powder at the site. The next time the rats come through, they’ll leave track marks confirming their miserable existence.
7. Neighbors with Rodent Problems
Is your neighbor already dealing with a rodent problem? This doesn’t automatically mean that you have a rodent problem as well, but it does mean you should keep a sharp eye out. As the rat population grows (or gets spooked out of your neighbors’ house) pioneer rats might come to your house looking for a suitable place to settle down.
Dealing with Rat Problems?
Concerned that you might be experiencing a rat infestation? Rats can carry several potentially deadly diseases and can cause considerable damage. At the very least, their feces and/or urine can make you very sick if you come into contact with it.
In other words, it’s dangerous to ignore the warning signs of a rat infestation.
If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to call the pest professionals here at Buckaroo Pest Protection. Trust us when we say, this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ll send out experts in rodent and rat removal to diagnose and handle your infestation.
Not quite sure about an infestation? Don’t worry, you can get a free whole-home inspection and $100 off rodent removal services. Contact us today to learn more!
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