Easy, Look for These 5 Signs!

In order to protect the investment in your Northern VA home, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a pest infestation.  Some pests can cause  damage and in some cases, endanger the health of your family.  Recognizing the signs of a rat infestation can protect you and your family as  rodents can carry harmful germs on their bodies.  There are at least five ways to indicate that you may have rats in your home.  These five signs include:

  • Ÿ  Droppings
  • Ÿ  Gnaw Marks
  • Ÿ  Rat Urine
  • Ÿ  Sounds
  • Ÿ  Nests

Rat Droppings

If there are rats in your home, one of the first things you will probably spot are their droppings.  They are fairly easy to spot because of their size.  Rat feces are approximately one half to three quarters of an inch long and the size of the feces can generally tell you which species of rat left the droppings.  Black rats have the smaller size feces of about half an inch.  Brown rats are known to leave larger droppings.

Feces are dark in color when they are fresh and as they dry out, they will turn gray and have a crumbly texture.  Depending on the species, droppings can be singular or found in groups.  They can generally be found in dark corners and along baseboards.

Signs of Gratnawing

Seeing indications of gnawing is another sign that you may have a rat infestation.  Rats will chew through most materials, except for glass, hard plastic and metal.  You may first spot evidence of chewing if you don’t spot their feces right away.  The kitchen and pantry are the most likely areas where you will see evidence of gnaw marks because they are looking for food.  Check boxes and bags for evidence of gnawing, including pet food bags because they are attracted to the meaty scents of pet food.

Urine Marks

With almost every step a rat takes, it leaves behind a trail of urine, which can be left behind in puddles or as urine trails.  In enclosed areas, rat urine also leaves behind a musty odor.  Trails may also appear as grease spots on your wall.  Rats have natural oils on their fur and they rub off against walls and other areas where they have traveled.

Rat Noises

Rats, like other rodents, are not a quiet species.  They are nocturnal creatures, so they usually are the most active while you are sleeping.  However, if you carefully listen just before bedtime, you should be able to hear squeaks, rustling sounds and scratching as they hunt for food or construct their nests.

Rat Nests

These rodents like to nest in out of the way areas that are warm and dry.  They often build nests in cabinets, boxes, in dressers and even inside furniture stuffing.  Rats will use fuzzy, soft materials to build their nests in holes so they are warm, dry and soft.

If you see evidence of a rat infestation, call an exterminator immediately.  The sooner you get rid of them, the better for your health.