From spring to winter, rodents can be significant problems in our homes! While these pests primarily make their presence known during chilly winter nights, rats and mice are no strangers throughout the rest of the year.
Unfortunately, whenever homeowners find a baby rat hiding indoors, rodents have already infested and nested in areas in their homes.
Removing a rat infestation isn’t easy, and you’ll often need professional pest control assistance to find and eliminate the pests on your property. Getting ahead of a rodent problem before it grows can save you time, money, and the hassle of indoor pests.
Keep reading to learn more signs that rodents have nested in your home!
Tip #1: You Hear the Rodents Moving
Hearing unexplained noises may indicate rats have created homes in your attic, crawl spaces, or walls.
Rats are primarily nocturnal pests and prefer to move when everyone else is away. You probably won’t see or hear rodents during the day. Instead, these pests prefer to sneak around at night whenever your household has settled down to sleep.
Depending on the rodents’ location, you could hear scratching or skittering noises as the pests forage for food or look for nesting materials. Larger rodents may make more noise than others, but don’t think mice can’t make their fair share of racket!
Besides their soft footsteps or squeaking, rats could cause noise as they push through food items in your pantry. You could hear them gnawing on the items in your cupboards or knocking over cans, containers, or packages to fish for available food.
Hearing rats won’t always indicate they have children indoors, but remember, rats and mice primarily enter our homes to find suitable places to raise their young. A baby rat nest may be nearby if you hear them moving around at night.
Tip #2: Home Damage May Indicate Rodents
While several pests can cause problems in your home, rats generally create the most issues! With their sharp, ever-growing teeth, these pests will continually gnaw and eat through your food and possessions.
Rat damage may be as simple as torn food packaging. Despite our best efforts to protect our pantry, rodents can easily eat through flimsy paper, plastic, or cardboard boxes that house our cereal, bread, or pasta.
Their sharp chompers can chew through almost anything, especially if they want a bite to eat. Minor bite marks on these items can show signs of rat activity. Stronger containers may be the best option to keep your food safe.
Rodents can cause damage to your household fixtures too.
You may have a rodent infestation indoors whenever you notice a light not working correctly or spot damage to your wired electronics. Wires are an excellent tool for a rat’s developing teeth, providing these pests some relief while their teeth keep growing.
Rodents are suspected to be the cause of numerous electrical fires each year! Torn wiring can cause issues with your lighting, heating, or other appliances. Plus, a bare wire could spark a fire without its protective coating.
These pests can cause issues for your insulation too. Roof rats notoriously build their nests in tall areas in your home, like attics or loft areas. Some attics or walls have thick, fluffy insulation pieces that rats use to craft their nests.
Adult rodents will chew through the fibrous material to make room for the baby rats to craft their warm, temperature-controlled homes. Consider looking at your upstairs areas if your electric bill is slightly higher than expected or the winter chill creeps in.
Tip #3: Droppings Always Indicate an Infestation
Finding rodent droppings will always be a warning sign of a current or previous rodent infestation.
Rats and mice will defecate wherever they go in your home. They don’t care about the location of their next bathroom, as they’ll often leave droppings around potential food sources and even around a baby rat or two in their nests!
Mice are curious creatures and will run throughout your home without much care. Rats, on the other hand, prefer to stick relatively close to their nesting spots. These pests are unlikely to stray more than a few hundred feet from their homes.
Rat droppings are easy to differentiate from mouse feces. Mouse waste is small, while rats produce larger droppings, about the size of a grain of rice, but the size depends on the rat species.
Because of their reluctance to leave their young in their nests, rats will primarily defecate around their homes. When you find rat droppings inside, their nesting spot will be relatively close.
However, avoid looking for these nests. While rodents are relatively harmless, they may become aggressive when cornered. Rats are more likely to attack humans if threatened, so we don’t recommend disturbing active infestations.
Will I See a Baby Rat Indoors?
Looking for young rodents isn’t generally an effective way to find an infestation. Adult rats prefer to stay away from humans and won’t travel far away from their nesting locations.
Rat babies quickly mature, so you’re unlikely to spot a newly born rodent roaming around without its mother nearby. Plus, the young rats will rely on their mothers until they grow old enough to forage for food on their own.
You shouldn’t spot young rats in your home until they grow old enough to strike out alone. However, you may see a baby rat if you find an active nest in your attic, storage boxes, basement, or garage.
Baby rats aren’t generally a way to locate an infestation. Instead, finding these signs of rats implies that the baby rats are maturing and capable of causing additional problems in your home as they age.
At proof., we focus on multiple methods to eliminate rodents. Our trained technicians will apply bait stations containing a flavorless rodenticide that gets rid of the rats within just a few days! Plus, we can also use traps to catch and eliminate pests indoors.
After we’ve removed the mice or rats inside, you should focus on exclusion efforts to prevent an infestation from starting again. Repairing small cracks and crevices will keep future rodents from sneaking in and causing trouble.