How to Determine the Number of Rats in Your Home

Nobody wants rats in their home. Even a single rat is enough to make most people shudder, but the reality is that if you have rats, you are unlikely to have only one.

Rats are intelligent creatures that can squeeze through the smallest gaps, and once they have settled in, they will start breeding.

Before calling professional pest control, it can be useful to know how many rats are actually in your house.

Signs of a Rat Infestation in Your Home

There are several signs that indicate the presence of rats in your home:

  • Droppings
  • Smell of urine
  • Gnawed or damaged food packaging
  • Nests made with shredded material
  • Chewed wires, pipes, insulation, or cardboard
  • Sounds of scurrying, especially late at night
  • Seeing a rat
  • Pets behaving oddly and pawing in corners

Now, you may have strong suspicions that you have rats, but it is necessary to take a closer look to estimate the possible number and size of the infestation.

How to Determine the Number of Rats in Your Home

Examine the Droppings

Droppings are an excellent way to gather information about your unwelcome visitors.

According to Real Homes, there are differences between mice and rat droppings. Tiny droppings are more likely to be left by mice.

Rat droppings are typically between 1 and 2 cm in size and resemble brown jellybeans or grains of rice. Adult rats leave larger droppings.

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If you see a mixture of big and small droppings, this may indicate a larger rat population of different ages.

A large number of smaller droppings could indicate that the rats have been breeding and you have many babies.

The more droppings you find, the higher the likelihood of having more rats in your home.

How Often Have You Seen Rats?

If you haven’t seen any rats, you might be fortunate to have only a minor infestation. Small rat populations are more likely to avoid humans as they move around at night.

You can potentially eliminate a minimal infestation with traps and bait if you act quickly. However, be aware that the rat population will continue to grow until all the rats have been removed.

On the other hand, if you have seen rats on more than one occasion, both at night and during the day, you could be dealing with a much larger infestation.

Rats that have been unable to stay out of your way are a clear sign of a severe infestation. In this case, it is crucial to seek help promptly from a professional pest controller, as the population will continue to grow unless action is taken.

Look for a Rat Nest

Rats prefer to make their homes away from humans, seeking refuge in nooks and crannies where they feel protected.

Your best chance of finding their nest is to explore the areas in your home that are least disturbed.

Often, rats can be found in lofts or inside cavity walls. Evidence of a nest includes shredded paper, leaves, and soft materials like insulation.

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In addition to nests, rats create runs that they use to search for food and water. They make these runs through your walls, electrical wiring, and pipes.

Rats can squeeze through tiny gaps, so you might find evidence of their runs with gnaw marks on your walls, under doors, and on the carpet.

As well as bite marks, you may also notice scratches and oily smears from their fur.

Following the runs or discovering a nest will give you a better idea of the population’s size.

Should you be worried about being attacked if you find a rat’s nest? Although the BBC reported a story about a girl in France being attacked by rats, they usually avoid human contact and only attack if threatened.

Do not disturb a rat nest without professional help. Rats carry diseases that can be transmitted through their urine, feces, and bites. It is best to leave them alone and get a pest controller to handle the infestation.

How to Deal with a Rat Infestation in Your Home

Once you have gathered information about the number of rats in your house, you can make a plan.

For a small rat population, you can try laying down traps and bait. It is essential to observe what happens and look for evidence of success.

If after a few weeks you still have rats, it is advisable to contact a professional pest controller. They will have access to the latest rodenticides to ensure that the rats are effectively eliminated.

Pest control professionals are the only ones who can successfully tackle a large infestation. They have the knowledge and experience to carry out a thorough assessment and implement a fast and effective pest control plan.

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If you think you have rats in your house, do not hesitate to contact us at 5 WS. Our fully trained technicians are experts in pest control and offer a discreet service to remove and control pests using the latest Integrated Pest Management (IPM) methods.

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