Rats are well known to spread disease, damage property and contaminate food and animal feed. If rats are able to get into your home or business, they can introduce disease carrying parasites like fleas, lice and ticks.
As they are most active between dusk and dawn, it is often easier to spots signs of a problem, rather than an actual rat.
How To Identify Signs of Rats
Learn to identify signs of a rat problem in your home or business
- Rat Droppings - Tend to be found concentrated in specific locations as rats produce up to 40 droppings per night. Brown rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape – resembling a large grain of rice.
- Scratching Noises - Black rats in particular are agile climbers, earning them their common name – the roof rat. They can easily gain access into loft spaces and upper floors of buildings, so scratching noises at night may suggest their presence. Brown rats on the other hand, are less adept climbers and more likely to be identified by a grinding or chattering noise they make with their teeth known as bruxing – as they scurry under decking, sheds and floorboards.
- Footprints (running tracks) - Rats leave foot and tail marks in dusty, less-used areas of buildings. Shining a strong flashlight at a low angle should reveal tracks clearly. To establish if an infestation is active, sprinkle fine flour or talc along a small stretch of floor near the footprints and check for fresh tracks the next day.
- Rub Marks - Rats use established routes along skirting boards and walls due to their poor eyesight. Grease and dirt on their bodies leave smudges and dark marks on both objects and surfaces they repeatedly brush against. These marks may indicate rodent activity, but as smears may remain for a long period of time, they are not a good gauge of an active infestation.
- Burrows - Brown rats are well known for digging and excavating extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. They build burrows next to solid objects or structures (decking, garden sheds, garages etc.) and are also found in secluded, well vegetated areas such as gardens and wasteland.