Signs Of A Rat Infestation

rat standing on a piece of wood

Rats have always been part of living in a big city…especially in Louisiana. Rats can be spotted just about anywhere from running along the fence line to scurrying across your kitchen floor. Spotting a rat outdoors in one thing, but encountering one inside of your home is a completely different problem. The biggest problem is where there is one rat, there very well could be more which could mean you have a rat infestation.

Where do rats live?

Rats adapt very well and can live just about anywhere that has enough food, water and shelter. Some rats live in burrows and in overgrown vegetation and others live in attics, garbage and cabinets. Some of the most common city dwelling rats include the Norway Rat (brown rat) and the roof rat. The Norway rat can grow to a body length of 10- 12 inches or about the size of a ruler. The Norway rat is known for its habit of gnawing, which causes serious damage. The pathogens found in rat feces and urine can lead to severe illness and disease in humans. Roof rats prefer to nest in high-up places like rooftops, trees and attics. They are smaller than the Norway Rat. In search of food, water, and shelter, roof rats will gnaw their way into homes, garages, and other structures. The risk of contamination through contact with rat feces and urine is high, and you can become very ill.

Do you have an infestation?

The most obvious sign of a rat infestation problem is the actual sighting of a rat or more than one rat inside of your home. If you hear scratching noises coming from the walls, you may have rats living inside of them. Look for droppings and even gnaw marks around the house. Rat droppings that are fresh are dark brown and soft and are around a half an inch long. Rats will gnaw through cardboard, plastic, bedding, furniture, insulation, and even electrical wiring. When looking for signs of rats, inspect every item in the pantry and kitchen for holes or signs of gnawing and chewing. In particular, packets and bags of sugar, flour, pasta, rice, pet food, and cookies are all prime targets. Rats also leave a greasy track mark as behind on some of their commonly used paths. Because they have poor eyesight, this greasy path helps them to navigate around their home and other commonly used routes. If you find a rats’ nest, you will know that you have a rat infestation. Rats build simple nests out of whatever they can find like paper, fabric, and other stuff combined in a disorganized clump. You will also find rat droppings, dirt marks and tracks near the nest.

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