How Can I Tell If I Have Rats?

Ever see a rat running for cover in your home? Rats can be notoriously tricky, sneaky, and clever. They’re quite proficient at sneaking into buildings and just as good at staying hidden once inside. Rats often live, thrive, and even reproduce inside buildings without anyone ever knowing they’re around. They might even be in your house!

Despite their impressive sneakiness, however, rats are not invisible. Far from it, in fact. Rat infestations leave behind all kinds of telltale signs – if you just know where to look. The faster you can spot these signs, the faster you can find your infestation and do something about it. If you suspect you have rats, here’s what you should start looking for:

  • Where Rats Build Nests: Rats build simple nests out of whatever material they can find. Inside your home, they usually build nests out of paper, insulation, fabric, and other random loose clutter. They’ll drag these materials into secluded areas like corners and beneath furniture. Infamously, they’ll often even “tunnel” into walls or insulation and build their nests inside walls.
  • Rats are Always Teething: Rats have to gnaw on something almost constantly to keep their teeth sharp and healthy. Unfortunately, they’ll gnaw on just about anything. Look for bite marks, shredding, or other damage on cardboard, insulation, paper products, plastic, furniture, and more. Obviously, this damage will be close to the ground where rats gnaw. Rat bite marks are about 2 inches or more in diameter, with rough edges.

Gnawing is particularly noticeable (and dangerous!) on electrical wiring. When a rat chew on wires, they may wear away protective insulation and expose the dangerous live wires within.

  • Rats Leave a Greasy Residue: Rats may have very advanced hearing and smell, but their eyesight is very poor. To compensate, they typically stick to a route they know will be relatively clear and easy to navigate. Rats move along this route by pressing themselves up against a wall as a way to tell where they are. As they move, they leave behind a dirty residue.
  • Rat Droppings Are Where They Spend the Most Time: Unsurprisingly, rats deposit their droppings in the areas where they spend the most time. You’ll find droppings where rats eat, nest, and travel through your home. Look for droppings in your pantry and lower cupboards, especially in dark corners and behind forms of cover.

Of course, there’s one other, even more obvious sign that you have rats: you saw one scurrying around. Where there’s one rat, there’s almost always more. If you see a rat in your basement this spring, it means you need to act to stop a full-blown infestation.

Call Alexandria Pest Services Before Your Home is Infested!

What’s the best way to prevent a full-blown infestation? Get an expert’s help right away. If you recognize one or more signs of infestation, give us a call any time. We can help make sure you have a rodent-free spring!

At Alexandria Pest Services, we can help make a safe and pest-free environment for your family. When you contact APS about a pest problem, we’ll come to your home, business, or government office to conduct a full inspection. This allows us to pinpoint the pest type and any points of entry or problem areas. If you are experiencing pest issues, call us at 703-923-0925 to schedule a professional inspection of your home. We will provide recommendations for the corrective measures and solutions to get rid of pests for good!


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