A clean, well-kept attic is a key piece to a properly cared for home. It’s really more important that you think!
The attic space serves two very essential functions for home maintenance. First, it allows cool, fresh air to enter the home. Second, it allows hot, moist air to escape. This ventilation process is the basis for all heating and cooling that keeps your home feeling fresh and comfortable.
Unfortunately, because they are left unattended, attic spaces are commonly invaded and infested by rats. Think you’d know if you had rats in the attic? Think again.
Related: How to Rodent-Proof Your Attic
Rats are crafty creatures and will enter through any crack or crevice in the roof. Next, they will shred attic insulation to make a place to nest. Insulation often becomes contaminated with rat droppings and urine that carry infectious diseases that can even become airborne! Learn more about the unseen health hazards that could be contaminating your insulation.
Do you suspect that you may have uninvited rat guests squatting in your attic? It can feel like a homeowner’s nightmare, but don’t panic! Read this guide, and learn how to get rid of rats in the attic fast!
Know the Signs
The first step is to recognize and confirm that you are definitely harboring rats in the attic. Get familiar with this quick list of rat facts to determine what you’re dealing with.
Rat Food Preferences
- Rats need liquids daily. If they don’t get enough from their food source, they’ll have to seek out water.
- Rats are notorious for being dumpster divers when it comes to food, but they prefer fresh grains or meat.
- A rat can and will climb to obtain food.
Rat Habits & Lifestyle
- Rats are excellent diggers. They are known to burrow under buildings and fences.
- The average lifespan of a rat is 1- 1 ½ years.
- Rats crave warm spaces, which is why they are attracted to your attic.
- Although larger than mice, rats can maneuver easily throughout your living space. They can enter through a hole that is only ½ inch in diameter!
- Rats normally stay close to their nest, within 300 ft.
- Rats are nocturnal and have poor eyesight. However, they have a keen sense of smell, taste, and sound.
- Physically, rats are larger than mice, with coarser fur and noticeably bigger heads and feet.
- The most common residential rat species are the Roof rat which thrives in upper attic spaces, and the Norway rat, which inhabits low living spaces, like the basement.
Now that you have an understanding of rat characteristics and behavior, start inspecting your home for these tell-tale signs of rat inhabitation:
- URINE ODORS
- GNAWED HOLES
- RUB AND GNAW MARKS
- RAT RUNWAYS
- RAT NESTS
- SCAMPERING NOISES
- UNUSUAL PET BEHAVIOR
Scampering Noises in the Attic
Is your sleep being interrupted at night by scurrying or scampering noises from above? You’re probably not being paranoid. The roof rat is one of the most common residential rodents, and its favorite place to nest is in the attic.
Rats are adept climbers and can sneak into the attic by running up the walls or by squeezing through holes in the walls and roof. Their nocturnal activity will sound like tiny feet scampering and scratching the ceiling above you.
It’s not dirt, it’s not dust, it’s a rat dropping. You’ll know at first glance whether they are new or old. New droppings are dark and moist, as they get older, they dry out and become old and gray.
If there are rats in the attic, droppings might be hidden away in areas like in the walls, in insulation, or ductwork. You will find the greatest number of droppings where the rats are nesting or feeding.
Whether you notice them on the exterior or interior of your home, gnaw marks are a dead giveaway that you have rats in the house. Gnawed rat holes are large, about the size of a quarter, with rough torn edges. Rats have the uncanny ability to gnaw through just about any material!
Team Up with Professionals
You’ve done your due diligence, have identified the signs, and you’re fairly certain or concerned that that are indeed rats in the attic. What’s your next step?
Call in the cavalry! Contact your local rodent professionals for inspection and removal services. The friendly team at Green Rat Control can provide a fast and effective consultation and help you come up with a plan of action to restore your home to health safety.
The pros will help you get rid of rats in the attic with four tried and true steps:
Step 1. Inspect
First, you need to locate where the entry points are. Ask yourself “how are they getting in?” and find all their access points. This step is key in preventing future rat invasions! If you miss even one entryway, the next few steps won’t be as effective, and you may have to start over again.
Keep in mind that rats are extremely agile creatures and can enter into your attic through roof tiles, small holes in the exterior, or other parts of your house—from there, climbing through walls to reach the attic. Look for droppings and gnaw marks, both good indicators of a nearby entry point. Also, as rats frequent certain “rat runways”, they leave behind noticeable grease stains. A disgusting, but useful tip to know as you search for access ways.
Step 2. Seal
After you find out where all those nasty rats are coming from, it’s time to seal up all the entry points. As previously mentioned, rats can gnaw through almost anything. Luckily, the experts at Green Rat Control have the recipe for keeping them out! Using metal mesh and caulking as a blockade, rats will be trapped outside for good.
Step 3. Trap
When it comes to trapping, there are a variety of products on the market, but not all of them are suitable for your needs. Recurring rat traps are effective for infestations but can be costly. Whereas poisons are cheap, they don’t kill rats right away, leaving them to eventually perish in difficult-to-reach areas like within your walls.
However, there’s one trap that remains highly effective whether you’re trapping an infestation or just one sneaky rat. The snap trap! The most common trap on the market is still used by professionals today. It’s humane, inexpensive, and fast!
Step 4. Sanitize
You want to get rid of the rats as soon as possible. This means cleaning up after the pests, or else, it’s like they’re still there. Let the professionals rid your attic of fecal matter and nests. They have the proper protective clothing necessary (long sleeves, masks, gloves) to get the job done safely, keeping skin protected from allergens and diseases. They will cautiously dispose of all dead rodents by what’s safe according to the laws in your area. Remember- never attempt to handle a dead rodent yourself, especially with your bare hands! They carry harmful diseases and bacteria.
Green Rat Control can even replace all soiled insulation with new materials and rid your home of any foul odors. It will be like the rats were never even there!
Maybe it triggers your allergies, or just gives you the creeps, but most people shy away from going up to the attic if possible. If you’ve been avoiding the problem, you don’t have to anymore. For the safety and well being of your home, it’s good practice to check up on things in the attic regularly. Getting rid of rats in the attic doesn’t have to be daunting or difficult.
Team up with Green Rat Control and make a plan to get rid of those rats today!