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How Do Rats Get into Your House? Signs & How to Prevent Them

Posted on: March 22nd, 2016 by Goodwin Pest Management
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Rats can squeeze through the smallest of gaps and holes, and if they spot a potential opening chances are they’ll chew their way in. But what areas do you need to be aware of? And how can you prevent them from getting in before they start causing havoc? Read on for our rat prevention guide!

How Do Rats Get in Your House?

Rat in kitchen

There are a number of ways for rats to get in your home, and there don’t have to be large gaps or entrances anywhere – they can make their way in through a number of areas.

Gaps in outside walls
These are likely areas such as points where holes have been made in walls to allow piping or cabling to run in/out of your home. Even though gaps may be small, if it’s possible for a rat to gnaw away at it then it can use it as an entrance.

Roofs
Rats love to target any small gaps in roofing, or areas where there are roof edges, such as soffits. They’ll either squeeze themselves through or chew away at a small gap to make it large enough to fit in.

Drains & Pipes
Rats can use drains and/or pipes in two ways; they can use drain pipes, for example, to climb up towards roof spaces, or they can crawl in through pipes or drains that are wide enough (for example sewage pipes).

Some very common areas of your home rats may be found include:

  • Kitchens
  • Utility rooms
  • Roofs
  • Loft spaces
  • Suspended ceilings or cavity walls

Signs of Rats

There will likely be a number of signs of rats; some of these will be visual and some you’ll be able to hear. If you have rats in your loft/roof space, or if they’re making their way into your home through walls then you’ll need to listen out for crunching, very audible thuds (running) or scuffling/scratching noises (which indicate they are climbing).

Some key signs of rats to watch out for:

  • Droppings in a single location (rats are picky about where they go!)
  • Visibly chewed holes around pipes, entrances or roof joins (e.g soffits)
  • Chewed or shredded insulation in lofts
  • Gnawed wires around your home (particularly lofts or kitchens)
  • Footprints in dusty/dirty areas

How to Prevent Rats

There are a number of things you can do and, while none of them will be 100% fool-proof, these are the best ways to prevent rats as best as possible:

  • ‘Rat proof’ your home
  • Keep food sealed away
  • Secure any outdoor bins (particularly ‘green waste’ bins)
  • Keep your garden neat and tidy
  • Including clearing up bird seed/pet food
  • Don’t include food in your compost heap; leave this for bins
  • Try and fill possible ‘entrance’ areas with wire wool

Unfortunately, if you’re seeing signs of rats then chances are it is too late – they’ve already got access in and out of your house, or they’ve set up camp somewhere like roof spaces or your loft. If it gets to this stage then the ideal solution is to involve a professional company offering rat control services; we offer an effective service and work within the Control of Pesticide Regulations (COPR).

Click here to solve your rat problems.

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