It is extremely serious if rats are getting into your property even if they are not entering a direct living area. Any rat problem inside the home or rats in the attic must be treated urgently. Rats in the garden and other external areas can also be high risk, particularly in areas used by children or pets.
It is important to get rid of rats in the garden to reduce the risk of them trying to enter the home. Special care is needed for properties with integral garages or with dog or cat flaps as rats can use these to get into the home.
Rats are nocturnal and usually hide from humans, so the typical signs of rats in the house are:
Scratching noises in walls or under the floor as rats scurry around. Rats in the attic are common.
Rat droppings – rats leave dark, tapered droppings about 10-14mm long.
Distinctive smell – rats leave an ammonia-like smell that will be particularly strong in enclosed areas such as under cupboards.
Damage – rats have teeth that grow continuously and gnaw on wood and plastic to keep them trim. Rats can even cause fires by chewing through electrical wiring.
Ripped food packaging – rats will tear open food which may leave teeth marks.
Nests – rats build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests will often contain young rats.
Burrows – In gardens, rats will dig burrows especially in compost heaps or under sheds. They will also build nests under garden decking.