Why Rats Come to Our House?

Last Update: 13.02.2019

There are two main reasons why rats come into your property:

  • Protection – Particularly when they are ready to nest and have babies which can happen year around;
  • Food – Wild rats are omnivorous eaters which means your house is the perfect place for any grains, fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts and any other edibles they might find.

Rats are particularly active at night which makes them hardly noticeable. During the day they are looking for food, shelter, water and that is the time when they leave indications they inhabit your premises.

As mentioned the actual pest may never be spotted at the crime scene. But don’t worry that doesn’t mean you can’t deal with them. Below we have listed the typical signs that could indicate you have a potential rat infestation.

Common Rat Signs Around The House

There are 2 types of rats in the UK – the black rat or ship rat which is rarely found in the district and the common brown rat. To confirm an infestation you may notice the following signs of rats around your property.

Rat Droppings

Rat’s poops are up to 12mm long, black and tapered at both ends. Those cute little rodents usually produce about 40 to 50 pellets per night concentrated in specific areas in small or sometimes large groups.

The size of the faeces can lead to learning the size of the rat, the possible number of rodents infesting your property and whether they are still active.

Another important factor is the age of the rat droppings. Remember if you want to check whether they are fresh, do not ever touch them with bare hands since they can spread disease and bacterial illness.

Rub Marks

Rats have poor eyesight and that is why they use only established routes to reach their destinations. Every time they travel around the house greasy fur marks has been left behind.

These signs can be seen on muddy or dusty surfaces around your home. Smears are dark grey marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with the oils in rat fur.

Scratching Noises

The rat noises alternate between chattering, squeaking and hissing. The chattering is produced when a rat grinds his teeth together and indicates both stress and relaxation. The chattering noise is also known as bruxing.

If the rats feel fear, pain or they just want to alarm for something they usually squeak or hiss. So if you think you might have rats in your roof, attic or ceiling roads try to capture the scratching noises and identify them.

Seen any of these rat signs in your home?

Check out our rat control service page to see how we can help.

Rat Holes

Rats are capable of chewing through wood and concrete which helps them to create burrows everywhere they want.

Two reasons why rat holes are both unsightly and dangerous:

  • Variety of other pests receive free entrance to your house;
  • If the rats gnaw on electrical wires this could be the reason to short-circuit fires.

Rats are well known for their digging capabilities allowing them to build complex tunnel systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. The entrance holes are around 70-120mm in diameter.

Where you have to look for rat hole entrances both outside and inside your property?

Wondering how rats enter homes? Read the bullet points below and get the answer:

    • Grassy banks – This is not just a surface from your garden, but the a place where the rats would love to burrow;
    • Deck – Rats love decked areas they can gnaw and burrow;
    • Vegetation – Tree and shrub root are other places convenient for rat holes, in overgrown vegetation or nearby wasteland;
    • Paving edges – Yes, that is another place perfect for rat hole entrances;
    • Drain cover surrounds – If the drain covers are damaged or if there are holes dug next to the drain covers you might have to deal with rat infestation;
    • Rotted bricks, wood and tiles – decayed areas are must-check areas for rat holes.
    • Lofts & attic spaces – One of rats favourite place. Check your loft insulation for chewed items or rat dropping. Those old cardboard boxes are perfectly suitable for a rat toilet;
    • Kitchens & laundries – Look behind your appliances. Don’t forget about any gaps where pipework or cables enter your home from outside;
    • Garages – Any gaps around door frames or holes gnawed at the bottom of wooden doors should be carefully inspected. Garage vents also could give entry into other internal areas;
    • Unlikely places – Think about places which are out of sight and possibly out of mind locations. Crawlspaces, suspended ceilings, between floorboards, cavity walls can be squeezed into by young rats;
    • Cluttered areas – Take a good care of your compost bins. They attract rats because they are warm and full of leftovers. Check lid and base of composters for holes or gnaw signs;
    • Behind and under appliances – Check fridges and freezers, dryers, gas pipe areas behind stoves and every other appliance that pops up in your mind.

Locating rat holes may prove more difficult than expected. This is why the holes should be sought with particular attention. Sealing all possible entrances will help you to get rid of a rat infestation in your home.

Rat Nests

Nests can be found both indoors and outdoors, within and around your property. The location of the rat’s homes also can be everywhere: cavity walls, lofts, garages, sheds, basements, kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms as we said everywhere.

Rats build nests in warm, well-hidden locations around the house, usually close to a food source. The rodents shred available materials such as newspaper, cardboards, loft insulations, fabrics and other soft items to make nests.


These can be seen and tracked down on dusty or muddy surfaces. Rats running tracks are recognised as four-toed front and five-toed back marks. Unfortunately, they can be easily confused with other footprints.

To have a clear view of the tracks simply use a flashlight at a low angle. To be completely sure if the infestation is still active, sprinkle the floor near the footprints and check for fresh footmarks the very next day.

Chewed surfaces

Rat create their paths for foraging. They love to explore all the possible ways to your food storage to create one for themselves. During the long journey through your fridge rats leave bite marks.

They do that because of their front teeth. It grows perpetually and to keep their teeth at a manageable length these rodents must gnaw on hard surfaces all the time. Rats are able to gnaw through unyielding surfaces in search of food sources.

We are a commercial service provider, therefore we produce content with informational purposes only. This site does not offer medical advice.

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Rat Proofing your Home or Business

You’ve noticed suspicious rat signs in your property? If you want to get rid of these rodents proved to be harmful to human health, it’s important to act quickly to control the level of infestation.

Call Panther Pest Control free on 020 3404 5177 to arrange a professional rat control services. Schedule a visit from professional and certified technicians for the most effectual rat control solutions to proof your home or business.

Request a quote