Rat infestation is a very real problem, but how can you tell if they are hanging around? Do rats make noise or are they a silent threat? This guide reveals all the sounds rats make and how to identify them!
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You think you could have a rat problem, but you do not want to jump to conclusions or overreact. After all, why assume the worst? Although ignorance might be bliss in some situations, you do not want to ignore any possible signs of rat infestation. Every minute there are unattended rats are contaminating and destroying materials in your home!
Maybe you have heard strange or suspicious sounds but have brushed it off or just have not had time to investigate it yet. Make this a top priority! Although rats are known for being super sneaky, they do make noise. If you know what to listen for you can stop rats in their tracks. So how do rats sound? You would be surprised by how many distinct sounds they make! Follow this guide to identify all the sounds rats make.
Do Rats Make Noise?
Rats are definitely creepy and they avoid people at all costs, but they are not completely silent. What do rats sound like? Here are few of their signature noises:
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The most common noise you are likely to hear rats making in your home is a gnawing noise. This is the sound of rat teeth grinding down on food or other household materials. One little known strange thing about rats is their front teeth never stop growing. As a result, they have a constant desire to gnaw on things to wear the teeth down. This habit also makes their teeth incredibly sharp. They can chew through almost anything, including wood, plaster, plastic, even some types of cement!
Besides food, rats love to gnaw and chew on electrical wiring. They can access this easily in between your walls, in the attic, or by attacking expensive household appliances. Not only is this costly to you, but it is also very dangerous. When rats gnaw at electrical wiring it can cause electrical fires!
Are you waking up in the middle of the night to pitter-patter sounds coming from the ceiling above you? It wasn´t a dream! That sound is a sure-fire sign that you have rats in the attic. Rats are nocturnal and they avoid human contact at all costs. This means that they do most of their movement at night. Rats typically only travel in a 30-100 ft radius from their nest. They travel along rat runways, greasy well-worn paths along baseboards to get to their destination- food or water.
Rats are naturally cautious creatures, they don´t travel around just for the fun of exploring. They venture out from their nest with the sole purpose of finding food and water. The light pitter-patter you hear is little rat feet scurrying to and from the nest to search for food. You may also hear that sound in the kitchen when rats are on a pantry raid! What kind of foods are rats attracted to?
- Norway Rat: The Norway rat is large an in charge. Known for its thick tail and long body, this is the rat that’ll make you shriek. Despite the perception that rats are dirty dumpster divers, Norway rats actually are pretty healthy eaters if they have the choice. They love fresh fruit, fish, and meat. Leaving a fruit basket out on the counter would be a treat they couldn’t resist!
- Roof Rat: The roof rat is the Norway rat’s smaller counterpart, and is so small that it is often mistaken for a mouse! Fresh veggies, seeds, and nuts are what this little rat loves to eat. Keep your salad out of reach! Surprisingly, their absolute favorite thing to eat is cat food. Your pet cat may be competing for its meal if the food bowl is easily accessible.
Chattering sounds and chirping noises
We normally imagine rats as solitary animals, but in reality, they are just as social as human beings. The chattering sound is soft and harder to catch than the pitter-patter or gnawing, but it is there. It is the sound of rats socializing in their nest when they are unguarded. If you hear the chirping sound you are very close to the rats home base!
The final sound you might hear a rat make is a high-pitched, shrill squealing noise. This alarming sound indicates that the rat is scared or in pain. Sometimes a rat will see you before you see it, and it will let out a squeal in a panic if it feels threatened. On the other hand, faint squeals could be the sound of a baby rat. Rats can produce litters of babies up to five times a year!
Other Signs You Have a Rat in the House
Identifying sounds rats make is one way to tell if you have a rat problem, but don´t forget to check for these other signs that rodents are lurking:
- Droppings: Look closely! It is not dust or dirt, it is rat poop. Small, brown-black oval rat droppings can be spotted within the perimeter of the rat nesting ground.
- Urine odor: Is a sudden foul smell plaguing your home? If you have emptied the trash and still can´t kick the smell, there is a strong possibility that rats are behind it.
- Gnawed holes: Along with gnawing noises come visible marks. You will likely find gnawed holes in cardboard cereal boxes, dog food containers, drywall, or attic insulation.
- Rat runways: Noticing grease stains along the floors or baseboards? If you look closely you might even spot rat tracks in the grease. These are the well-worn paths rats are traveling along, pitter-patter.
- Rat nests: Rats love to camp out in isolated or abandoned spaces, less-visited areas of the house like the attic or basement. Their favorite place to nest is in attic insulation or old storage containers. If your dusty pile of cardboard storage boxes appears disheveled or has gnawed holes in it there is probably a rat nest within. Attic insulation will be reduced to tattered shreds by rats for use in their nest. They love its cozy warm!
- Abnormal pet behavior: Is your dog on extra-high alert? Is your cat acting more irritable than usual? Household pets are highly protective of their space and their people. Their strange behavior can be a sign that they feel their territory is threatened. Follow their instincts and investigate!
Do rats make noise? Yes, but identifying and distinguishing different rat noises can be tough! Luckily, you don´t have to figure it out alone. To get rid of rats, reach out to your local experts at Green Rat Control. Our season professionals can handle rat removal safely and quickly.
The GRC team will inspect and rodent-proof your property by sealing up any entry points created by rats. GRC has a tried and true rodent exclusion method for sealing entry points that will keep rats out for good! They can also professionally remove dead rats from your household. This hazardous task should never be performed by the homeowner.