If you have come across tiny, dark brown droppings or heard scratching noises, then you might have a rat problem. Rats are more active at night, and this means that it is easier to identify signs of an infestation than the actual rats. Here are some signs of infestation by rats in your home.
Signs of Infestation by Rats
Some signs of infestation by rats include rub marks, droppings, scratching noises, holes and more.
1. Rub Marks
Rats leave oily rub marks in the places they travel, and surfaces they come in contact with. They establish their routes mostly along walls due to their poor eyesight, so that is one of the places you could check to see if there is an infestation. These rub marks are caused by dirt and grease on the rats’ bodies when they brush against a surface. While these smears may indicate rat activity, they cannot be used to accurately gauge an active infestation because they remain on a surface for long periods.
2. Rat Droppings
Like how bed bugs have the potential to lay eggs, rats leave droppings as a sign of infestation. Rat droppings are found in concentrated places because rats produce on average of 40 droppings per night. Roof rat droppings have pointed ends while Norway rat droppings are blunt. Old droppings are hard crumbly while the new ones are shiny in appearance and putty-like in texture. The varying sizes of the droppings show whether the rats present are juveniles, or adults, or both. Lots of droppings indicate a large infestation. The location of the droppings indicates the active infestation areas, and that should be where you place your traps or bait.
3. Scratching Noises
Black rats are agile climbers. They are often found in the upper floors of buildings and lofty spaces so scratching noises, especially at night, may suggest their presence. Brown rats, on the other hand, can be heard scurrying under sheds, deckings, and floorboards. They are more likely to be identified by bruxing, which is a noise they make through their teeth.
4. Rat Holes
Brown rats are famous for digging burrow systems for shelter, nesting, and storage. They build their extensive burrows next to solid structures or objects like garden sheds and soil, garages, decking, etc. Rat holes are also found in well-vegetated and secluded areas such as wasteland and gardens.
5. Rat Nests
Besides burrows, rat nests can also be found in attics, lofts, crawlspaces, and even cavity walls where it’s warm. Rats will commonly make their nests by shredding available material such as cardboard, loft insulation, and other soft items. This is more apparent in the winter.
Rats leave tail and foot marks in the dusty and less used areas of a building. To identify such tracks, shine a torch at a low angle on various surfaces. To establish if the rat infestation is current, sprinkle talc or fine flour along the floor where the footprints are, and check for fresh prints the following day.
Rats can be destructive. They are known to damage property, contaminate food, and spread diseases, so you do not want to have them invading your home or even office. If you identify the signs of infestation by rats or any other pests such as scorpions, termites, etc. mentioned above or hear the scratching noises, act quickly to contain the problem before the infestation spreads further. You can either call professional pest control services or look for technological solutions such as LED lights for pest control among many others.