Do you suspect rats have take over your home?
Our guide includes signs such as the most obvious rat droppings to the more subtle signs that you might not have known to lookout for.
Rat dropping is a clear sign of rat activity in your home. Fresh droppings or feaces is darker in colour and firm to the touch. As the rat feaces dries out it becomes grey and will crumble easily. Please be cautions when handling possible rat feaces as rats are known carriers of diseases. As a precaution rather wear gloves and cover your face.
There will always be droppings where the rats are nesting or feeding, so inspect the area around any droppings you might find to establish how recent the activity might be.
A good place to look for rat droppings will be any space where it is warm and that offers protection against the elements. Areas to inspect will include ceilings, wood piles and areas that aren’t frequently visited by humans.
2 GNAW MARKS
Rats eat their way through most surfaces including but not limited to wood, plastic, some types of concrete such as cinder blocks, soft metals like aluminum sheeting, bricks, and wires. This means that if they are motivated enough, they will find a way into your home. Walk around your home and lookout for any obvious gnaw marks. In contrast to the rat droppings, lighter gnaw marks are usually fresh and older gnaw marks tend to become darker with age.
A good place to check for gnaw marks will be areas where you have open cables (including your vehicles). Rats can gnaw through the plastic coating on electric cables. This is not only an electric shock hazard but is also a fire risk. If you come across any areas that have gnaw marks, especially cables, please ensure that they are repaired quickly to prevent any long-term damage or possible injury.
Your pets such as cats or dogs, may be the earliest detectors of a rat infestation. If they show a lot of interest in a certain area, that they previously had no interest in, it may be because they can smell rat visitors seeking permanent refuge. If you notice the excitement from your pets, take a flashlight and inspect the area of their concern. You may be able to detect a faint whiff of a foul-smelling odour. The longer the rats have been nesting there, the more intense the foul-smell will be.
4 TRACK MARKS & RAT RUNWAYS (NOT THE FASHION KIND!)
If you suspect rat activity in your home, their runways and tracks are likely to be distinctive, fading as time passes. Tracks can be detected with a flashlight or a blacklight held at an angle towards the area of concern. You may see smudges, urine stains or droppings. Smudge marks are a black to grey colour. These can normally be seen nearby rodent entry points, such as pipes, holes, or up the sides of certain walls. Smudge marks is a sure sign that rats are very active in an area, as this mark is a buildup of their oil from their fur that is rubbed against the object that they are travelling on or going through on a regular basis.
If you want to test if your suspicions are correct, you can cover the area of concern with a thin layer of baby powder or flour. If there is activity, it will be very easy to see in the powder.
5 RAT NESTS
Rats use many forms of material that they can find to create their nests such as shredded paper, fabric, or dried plant matter. If these types of nests are found and you have noticed other signs of current presence (fresh droppings, gnaw marks, odour, or tracks) it is likely that there is still an active infestation in your home.