Rats are one of the most destructive household pests, chewing through wires, walls, and insulation and contaminating your home with their feces and urine. They also carry some pretty serious diseases, putting both you and your family at risk. These risk factors make identification and rodent control an important part of your household pest control plan.
Rats are mostly nocturnal pests and it is rare for them to come out during the day. Their activity typically begins around dusk. Because rats commonly inhabit areas near humans, it is safer for them to come out after dark when there is less chance of them being caught. They will make an appearance during the daytime if they feel safe enough to do so and especially if food supplies are scarce.
If they aren’t coming around during the day, where are they hiding? Rats prefer to hide in places that are tucked out of the way and that aren’t often disturbed. Outdoors they will hide under piles of debris, under trash piles, in dumpsters and trash cans, in trees, and in sewers. They can also be found under bushes and shrubs, in woodpiles, and in gutters. Inside, rats can be found hiding out in holes, cracks, and crevices; climbing up through drains in bathrooms and kitchens; behind cabinets; behind and under appliances; in air ducts and ventilation systems; in piles of clutter; in storage containers; in hollow walls; and in crawlspaces, attics, garages, and basements.
Seeing a rat during the day can be an indication of a larger rodent infestation. Seeing one rat may not be cause for alarm; seeing more than one or seeing one in conjunction with other signs of rodents can be cause for concern. Some common signs of a rodent infestation include rat droppings, especially in one specific area; chew marks or chewed through wires, food packages, and other household surfaces; nesting material like fabric and paper; and a musty smell.
If you suspect you have a problem with rats or any other rodents, contact your local pest control company who can provide you with a thorough evaluation and an ongoing treatment and prevention plan to keep your home pest free.