Common Signs of Rat Infestation in New England Homes
Rats love to invade our New England homes. What’s not to like? Our homes provide them with warmth on a cold winter night, food to fill their bellies, plenty of water to drink, and safety from predators, besides the occasional run-in with the family cat. So why wouldn't they want to live with us? However, while moving in with us seems like a perfect living situation for these rodents, it doesn’t have the same positive implications for us. When rats decide to take up residence inside our homes, they can bring some serious problems in with them. Wild rats are filthy creatures as they explore extremely filthy places in search of food including dumpsters, sewers, and even the carcasses of dead animals. When they explore your home in search of food, they'll spread harmful bacteria and diseases, damage your home, damage your belongings, and introduce fleas, ticks, mites, and other parasites to different areas of your home. That is why it is important to be able to recognize the signs of a rat infestation.
Sometimes, we'll get lucky and hear rats scurrying around inside our walls or hear them banging around in our attic or basement areas. If this is how you find out you have rats, then be thankful. This is actually a blessing in disguise. Most of the time, invading rats won't make a peep. And while those noises may be annoying, they will alert you to their presence and prompt you to take care of your rat infestation; and that is a very good thing!
As rats rummage around your home, they will leave their feces and urine behind along the way. This can lead to the contamination of your plates, silverware, food items, and more. But those droppings are also a warning sign to take note of. If you open your kitchen drawer and find tiny black, pointed, pill-shaped droppings inside, you have a rodent problem on your hands.
You may find out that you have a rat problem by detecting a foul smell in your kitchen. Rats can take up residence inside electric ranges, near the bottom where there is insulation. When they do, they will soak this nesting area with their urine which can lead to a strong odor. You may also smell rat urine when you enter into an infested attic, basement, garage, or storage area. If you do, it is time call a professional and get those rats removed.
There are many ways rats can damage your home and those damages can be found on both the interior and exterior. Inside, you may find a hole chewed in the baseboards of your kitchen or pantry. You may find a hole in your sheetrock. You might find a hole in a couch or some other piece of furniture. You might notice holes in stored boxes and chewed or torn items inside those boxes. You may find holes in food packages and food boxes. Rats create holes in many places once inside our homes, both high and low. They also damage books, wallpaper, wiring, insulation, clothing, drapes, and other items as they build their nests.
Outside, you may find holes in window frames, especially windows in your basement wall. You might find a hole in the corner of a door frame. If you are noticing rodent damages to the ground level of your home, you may be dealing with Norway rats. You can also find rat holes in high locations. These damages are usually done by invading roof rats. When these rats find a way to get onto your roof, they can chew through shingles to get into your eavestrough. They can chew through the gasket around ventilation pipes. They can chew into the vulnerable material around a chimney. So, as you can see, there are many ways rats can chew their way in.
Norway rats often dig tunnels in the ground to establish their nests in. If they are tunneling and creating burrows in your backyard, you may see the entry holes. Look for these holes near piles of objects. These rats prefer to establish their burrows underneath piles of organic material. Therefore, you're more likely to find rat burrows in areas that are overgrown, rather than locations that are maintained and well-groomed.
If you see a rat crawling along a wall of your home, it leaves little to no doubt that you have a rat problem, especially if it is a wall on the interior of your home. We hope this is not the way you find out you have a rat infestation. In fact, we hope you never have to deal with a rat infestation in the first place! Rats can make you and everyone else in your home become ill, they can damage your home and possibly start a house fire by chewing through a live wire, and they can carry parasites into your home with them when they invade. If you're thinking, "No thanks." We're with you! Fortunately, you don't have to deal with rats in your home. With professional rodent monitoring and exclusion, you can keep rodents from getting into your home. Learn more about rat control on our rat identification page and reach out to us to get started protecting your family and your home from rodents today!