Rat Infestation

How to Tell If You've Got a Rat Problem

Oh Rats!

Older houses are most vulnerable to rats, but it's possible for them to crop up in just about any neighborhood. There are often large rat populations in the city, but apartment owners typically rarely see them since their landlords will typically take care of building maintenance, including unwelcome visitors. rats are more problematic to the average suburban homeowner, and they are extremely smart animals.

The best way to protect against getting rats in the first place is to rodent proof your home.


Here are some signs to look for to see if rats are living in or around your house:

Rat Sounds:

Rats are typically active at night. You might hear such indicators as the patter of paws, squeaks, or climbing sounds in the walls. Mice may also emit a little whistle.

Rat Odors:

Rats and mice lairs give off a noticeable pungent smell.

Rat Droppings:

Look for rat droppings near your food supplies, i.e. kitchen cupboards or countertops. A variety of sizes may indicate an established colony with both older and younger animals.

Rat Gnawings:

Look for freshly gnawed wood, indicated by a paler coloring than the wood around it.

Excited Pets:

Dogs and cats are sensitive to the sounds and smells of rats. If your pet frequently paws or sniffs at the wall or floor in one particular spot, especially near kitchen cabinets or storage areas, it may be an indicator of rats or mice.

Actual Rat Sightings:

If you actually see a live rodent, it's a good indicator that you have a problem. Rats are secretive and are usually only out at night, so if you see one in the daytime, it probably means there are enough to have forced that individual out. Assume there are at least 10 more rats in the general area for every one you see. It is important to note that mice are naturally active during the day, so a mouse sighting doesn't necessarily mean there is a colony in your house.

About The Author

TC Thorn
Please visit http://www.pestinformation.com/ for more information on Pest Control.

We are trying to collect info on ways to remove Rat problems. Please enter any Rat 'removal' tips that you may have in the form below:

  1. I have used the Victor Rat Traps (with the yellow plate) I melted Galaxy Chocolate in a bowl over boiling Water, then coated the Bait Plates. This allowed me to reuse the trap - (very little of the chocolate had been knawed before been caught)
  2. Keep garbage cans covered. never throw food outside. if they are inside, get traps, use poison and block all entries.

"Hi i think i have a rat problem. I open my wardrobe everyday and it lets out a massive pongy smell is this the case of rats snd theres a hole in the wall and my fogs always smelling it and protecting it"


"Rats spread disease and will generally cause harm to your house, your electrics, water supply, you name it, they will pee, poo and gnaw through things, including electric cables which they like, potentially causing a house fire, if they think they can eat it! If you have small children and allow rats to run free (behind fridges!) they will spread their diseases to your children... They will take small chickens/chicks and anything else that they think can be eaten, if you want a pet rat, go out and get one. They wont hang around of they cannot get any food, discourage your neighbours from putting loads of food out for the birds, the rats will come for that and then into your home. Best for rats has to be poison, put it in a pipe along a run to stop other larger animals getting it. Rats can transmit approximately 14 diseases or infections to humans - some via their fleas and the most well known Weil's Disease via their urine or more rarely by biting. What caused the Black death? rats and poor hygiene, the rats didn't care about the discomfort in the humans!!! (Admin: I don't think we know for sure what the black death was let alone what caused it - its still speculation) keep they under control, that way we all carry on our lives in peace and healthily!"


"first try and find out how they have got in,then get rid of all dropings and anymess they may have caused,leave traps and poision,then jst keep cheeking if it or they have been bk after 2/3days then block all holes and any open little point wear they cud be getting in from,if u have none it might be worth askin your neibours if they have had any problems els they will keep trying to cum bk,"

m reddall

"Pet rats seem to keep the feral ones at bay. They also keep mice away. We never had a mouse problem while my daughter\'s pet rats were active."


"We had caught a rat afew weeks ago and then never herd any more scratching etc,however a fowel smell is in one room of the house and its like rotting garbage.Do you think that it could be a dead rat? its totaly away from the area that we caught the rat.The smell seemed to have come over nte and it stinks. what does daed rat smell of??????"

mad as a rat

"I cannot believe I am hearing you nutbags accurately. Are there REALLY people on here saying it's cruel to trap and kill rats that have infested their homes. Are you effing people serious? Do you realize they eat their young, attack eachother and are cannibals? They eat and shit in the same place, they spread disease and can cause death. What a bunch of stupid, moronic "animal lovers"! You deserve to live in the filth and dirt with your cute little friends. IDIOTS!"


"We are thinking about buying a vacation home and were told by the neighbors that there was once a rat problem. The house has been empty, no food at all in the house and no running water. I believe it has empty for about 6 months. We found droppings in a couple of cupboards. No idea of the age. What is are the chances of rats still living in a house free of food or water? "

Laura B

"do they go in the closet place becouse i have found lots of poop well we do have a hamster but y would it be in the markers and colors and my dog does ack crazy in the kithen usly bye the clothes or the trash can and bye her food"

we dont know what to do

"I have a loft conversion and I hear sounds from the tiny space between ceiling and roof of dormer. Consequently, there is no space to inspect for droppings etc, or for me to bait. How I am going to deal with it?"


"I used tomcat rat traps and pre-bait with peanut butter and cheddar cheese. Then a couple of days later set the traps with small chunks of kielbasa sausage wrapped up in craft wire and secured to the traps. From the signs of the droppings only had a few but one got caught in the trap. Good luck."

Mark C

"Rats in the loft,smell of dead ones. How can the owner find the pest controller to deal and clean all around the house?"


" I would spray Rataway Fragrance it is non-toxic and non poisonous. It will stop rats, mice, squirrels,etc... from nesting"

Rick Suddes

"i have rats under my garden shed ,im sorry im an animal lover but to me the only good rat is a dead one. the trouble is i have a German shepherd who knows the rats are there. any ideas how i can get rid of them???? obviously i dont want to hurt my dog or any of the local cats that come in the garden thanks "


"Can I get some advice please. We realised that we had "something" in the attic and discovered it was rats. Husband took the droppings into rentokil guys who are in regularly to his work. They gave ups blue poison blocks,then glue boards. We had bought traps and got one with this and one on glue board. However no more noises heard and we never discovered where they got in. Now we have at least 4 bluebottles per day in the house and can only guess that there is something dead somewhere and we cant find it. We live in the country and have a river at the back of the house, so I'm sure there must be more around. There is nothing in the house and so far no evidence of live beasties in the attic. Can you advise me please. "

Chrissy G.

"Hi Jenny,
Many people have the same concerns as you, not wishing to cause harm to any animal - even rats. Unfortunately you must decide on a course of action soon, you are exposing yourself to some quite significant health risks by having rats in your home, and indeed your home itself is at risk, every year many homes burn to the ground due to electrical fires caused by gnawing rodents in roof spaces.
As a professional pest controller I would strongly recommend anti-coagulant rodenticides, your infestation has gone beyond the stage where trapping will have much of an effect.
Please don't let your kind nature allow something awful to happen to yourself or home, my website may help with some advice thesuffolkpestcontrolcompany.co.uk or you can call me on 0800 046 7433 for some free advice, "

Martin B

"Hi I have a problem and have had this problem now for a few months. I have a rat infestation in my roof. I can hear about 20 to 30 or more running around up there at dusk and through the night. I am an avid animal lover and their antics were funny and amusing to watch (they would run down the drain pipe outside as soon as they heard my voice, for food).
Now, they have entered my home (I have a tiny one living in the back of my fridge in the kitchen, that has over the last couple of nights nibbled on the dogs dry biscuits). I now wish to remove all of these visitors but in a humane way and am at a loss to know the best way to accomplish this. I cannot bear the thought of trapping or baiting them because of the pain and suffering this would course. I also feel partly responsible for encouraging them with food, unaware that they would multiply at such an alarming rate.
I have been looking at live traps, but have been told that it would take me forever to do it this way - I have even called the RSPCA and the companies that make the baits (poisons) to find out if there bait causes any pain at all. I have had conflicting answers to this question, some say it causes interenal bleeding and just slows them down and they eventually fall asleep and the other poison company said that it would cause quite alot of pain, which I could not be apart off. As you can see, I don\\\'t know how to handle this problem and would value and appreciate any suggestios that you might have on this subject."


"i caught one mouse two weeks ago. there are 3 traps still set but i havent had anything since. i saw, what i think, was a dropping. it was about a cm in length. i know mice droppings and this wasnt one. the mouse got in at the kitchen pipes but the hole is only about a half a cm in width. i doubt a rat will get in there. There are no other holes around. do you think i may have a rat?"


"Rats have been attracted by the bird feeders in my garden but have , to-date, shot 6 with my air rifle ensuring a quick and effective death."


"Rats are nasty germ ridden disease spreading parasites, whats with killing them humanely , just kill em and be done with it. I hate them and mice too"


"I have my Fourth Rat i live in a apartment and i told them they have a rat infestation in this apartment with babies and kids live here and been told that each one have too fill a paper suggesting the Rats are here and they're afraid if they say something might get evicted from this apartment. One lady has three babies and the rats recently ate the chicken from the kitchen where the babies were in and she told them that she can't get to fill out becuase doesn't have transportation because she don't drive and she gave her thirty days notice because of it a month ago. Everyone worries get a evicted just saying there rats propblem here and this property management won't take on them self that they have one. We hear them in the walls in the night."

mary jean

"If i have got a rat in my shed/garden then i dont care which way it gets killed as long as its dead i totally hate them...and i would go for a trap anyday over poison i really dont fancy the thought of finding it dead six months down the line in the full heat of the day!!!"

Lisa P

"I have discovered a failsafe way of executing Rats! they got in under a gap at the bottom of my shed door and I expected where still in the clutered shed so instead of sealing it up I got 4 fenn traps and got two sheets of metal and placed them so there was only enough space at door for rat to get in/out that is where i put the traps 2 inside 2 outside the traps work when the rat has to stand on it to get out (reason I put 2 outside also was to be sure the rats caught came from within as new rats going in would be whacked outside) if you require any further details email me Sabermaze@aol.com. next morning rat 1 caught rat2 caught 4hours later traps down for 3 days now no more rats :-)if you find where rats come in dont block it off they will eat in somwhere else in your house guaranteed use snap traps and place at entrance hole and dont block up until sure all rats caught cause if you block them in you will have a few sleepless nights as they need food and water dont use poisons dying rats will crawl into the smallest gaps and die leaving a stink that can last upto 2 years and rotting carcases will attract other rats and bluebottles then you will have a infestation of Maggots, Warning fenn traps and kids/pets dont mix. so lock sheds and garages when using these traps but they are brilliant but you need to be strong to set them. hope this helps you worried people who are reading this cause if your reading this it probabaly means you also have an unwelcome creature sharing with you."

The Rat Equaliser

"your right it doesnt sounds cruel IT IS CRUEL finding a more humane way to get rid of the problem sounds like a better option."


"Sounds cruel, but then again they are bleeding to death internally anyway from the poison and so I guess this may speed the process?"


"After putting rat poison nearby to where you think they are nesting take an old teaplate or glass,and smash it into bits, the rats will then cut themselves on the shards of glass and bleed to death."