where do rats hide in houses

One of the worst things about a rat infestation isn’t realizing that you have one, it’s when you realize something is going on with your home that’s allowing them to enter. Rats not only have a tendency to invade homes, but they also tend to cause problems by constantly biting through objects such as electrical wiring, boxes, and even the walls themselves. Understanding a rat’s abilities and habits are essential for locating and removing them from your home.


Where Do Rats Hide in Houses?

If you suffer from a rat infestation, chances are they’ve settled into a dark area in your home that you don’t roam through often. Rats are nocturnal animals with very keen hearing, which leads to rat activity being highest at night. Some of the most common areas that rats can enter are in attics, behind walls, specifically inside of them, behind kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, and crawlspaces. It’s also important to note that rats also tend to create nests once they’ve settled in a spot. Nests can general be located through signs of increased rat droppings and small bits and pieces of paper, fabric, or any shredded material. While these are some of the most common places for pests to enter, it’s important to understand that there are many more places that a rat can reside, especially when they’re able to fit through holes that are the size of a quarter. Knowing the anatomy of a rat provides enough information to prove this ability.


Rat Anatomy

where do rats hide in housesPhoto Source: BiologyCorner

To fit through small holes, the skeletal anatomy of a rat is the most important piece of information. The common house rat has a collapsible skeletal system, more specifically in its ribs. The ribs of a rat hinge at the spinal cord, enabling them to collapse. In conjunction with the rat’s natural cylindrical body shape, rats can fit through holes far smaller than their size. One simple way to remember this information is to realize that if a rat can get its head through a hole, then so can its body. For more information, feel free to follow this link from National Geographic.


How Do You Know If You Have a Rat Infestation?

There are many telltale signs as to whether or not you have a rat infestation.

  • Rat Droppings are one of the most obvious signs of a rat infestation. They can typically be found anywhere near rat nests and along walls. One good note to point out is that regardless of where the rat nest lies, droppings can be found almost anywhere.
  • Holes that look as if they’ve bitten through are another telltale sign. In general, if the hole looks as if it was made from biting or tearing, chances are that a rat made it. Cardboard boxes are very common for rats to bite through.
  • Noises are common to hear when there’s a rat around. Rats aren’t the quietest animal and with their activity levels being highest at night, it’s even easier to hear them running through your home.

These are just some of the signs to look out for if you think you have a rat infestation. For a whole list of signs to look out for, follow this link. Understanding that you have a rat infestation is just as important as removing it.


Getting Them Out

Getting rats out of your home doesn’t require a lot of work, but it does require the right tools. One option is obviously to call an exterminator. Professionals in the extermination business are trained to locate the nest, remove live or dead rats, and sanitize any area that they’ve come across. You can also get rid of the rats yourselves using rat traps and chemicals. You can also buy steel cages if you don’t want to kill them. Whatever option you choose, be very careful in that you make sure you remove every single rodent. Even leaving just one rodent could lead to another infestation very soon. Sanitizing your home is also a very key point to removing rats since rats do have an amazing sense of smell. Removing the nest and cleaning rat droppings are vital when not only removing rats, but also keeping them out.


Keeping Them Out

Once you’ve gotten rid of every single rat in your home and you’ve cleaned up the nest and rat droppings, the next step is to keep them out of your home. Again, calling an exterminator would suffice. Not only are they trained to get rid of rats, but can also help keep them out and many exterminators offer protection plans. If you decide to prevent rats from entering your home yourself, your first step would be to check anywhere around your home that rats could hide in. One area would be to check any plants around your home; be sure to trim the plants to prevent rats from hiding within the vegetation. Other areas to check for are messy garages, any outdoor storage areas such as sheds, and anywhere that can supply rats with water such as faulty pipes. These are just some of the areas to check for rats.


The Bottom Line

Most importantly, rats can live just about anywhere. They are excellent swimmers, have the ability to fit through tiny holes, and can typically be found in packs. Knowing this, make sure to clean your home regularly and to clear out any storage spaces that rats could settle in or travel through.