How To Smell A Rat: 6 Signs That Rats Are Entering Your Home

Posted on: 14 October 2021

Rats usually enter homes for two reasons; for food and shelter. If you suspect that rats are entering your home, then you need to do a little detective work. Even if you haven't seen any rats in your home, you may still see evidence of them in and around your home. Since rats are predominantly nocturnal, you likely won't see them during the day. However, you should be able to find ample evidence of their nocturnal activities.

If you think rats are entering or even nesting in your home, look for the following clues.

1. Grease marks

Rats stick close to walls and other vertical surfaces as they travel. And they tend to use the same entry points if they feel safe while doing so. As you check your garden and home then, examine the bottom of vertical surfaces like walls, fences, furniture, and appliances for grease marks left by moving rats.

2. Gnaw Marks

Rats gnaw for two reasons, to form entry points and to keep their teeth short. Look for gnaw marks around suspected entry points, including at the bottom of fences in your yard. Check for evidence of gnawing inside your home on wiring, furniture, or other items.

3. Musty Smells

Rat urine gives off a musty smell because of the ammonia it contains. Rats urinate wherever they roam, so if you smell ammonia in a specific area of your home or yard, you likely have a rat infestation.

4. Droppings

Rats leave scattered clumps of droppings wherever they infest to mark their territory. If you see scattered clumps of olive-shaped droppings throughout an area, then rats are likely to be the cause.

Because both roof rats and squirrels nest in roof spaces, you'll need to tell the difference between the types of droppings. Squirrels tend to leave droppings in the same area, such as around the entry points into your home, whereas rats leave droppings everywhere.

5. Scratching and Scrabbling Sounds at Night

If you sometimes hear scratching noises at night, then you likely have rats or mice. Both rats and mice are nocturnal. Squirrels, on the other hand, are diurnal, which means they sleep at night and are active during the day.

6. Travel Routes in your Garden

Rats use the same passageways and travel routes as they travel in yards and gardens. If you find tunnels through the undergrowth and in the soil of your yard, rats are probably using these to travel on your property.

If you suspect that rats are living on your property or in your home, you may need the assistance of a rodent control service. Rats spread disease to humans and can bite if cornered, so consider seeking professional help, especially if you have small children and pets at home.