Rats are a common problem in many parts of the world. They destroy crops, damage homes, and ruin food stores if not kept in check. It’s no wonder that people do everything they can to keep rats out of their homes. Everything from traps to poison is put into use when defending your home against rats, and sometimes it’s effective. However, there are many times where even the oldest tricks won’t work for a sizeable rat problem.
When defending your home against rats, it’s sometimes hard to determine where the main problem lies. Rats in the walls of the home are especially hard to drive out without tearing down your house. Poison and rat traps are really effective. However, sometimes even the best defense is not enough.
How do rats get in your house?
Rats, by nature, are designed to get into all sorts of places. They are scavengers, searching for food wherever they can. It is this drive to forage that brings rats into unprotected cellars and ultimately, into the home. While your house may be well constructed, rats are very resourceful and have a variety of tools at their disposal.
First, and perhaps most important, rats are incredible climbers given the right surface. Rats in house walls is a common occurrence, and this is due to the fact that rats are able to squeeze virtually anywhere. Small holes, usually unseen by homeowners, are a great way for rats to get into your home.
Other ways that rats can potentially invade your home is through your plumbing. Rats can hold their breath for up to 30 minutes, which is more than enough time for them to slip in through the sink or even the toilet pipes.
The fact of the matter is, rats are incredibly capable. They’re flexible, persistent, and incredibly agile, which makes them one of the more difficult pests to deal with.
Rats are nature’s acrobats
Sure, rats can get in between the house walls through cracks, drains, and holes, but can rat climb walls?
Rats are resourceful, and will climb absolutely anything they can grip on to, walls included. Sufficiently rough surfaces like brick, stone, and even concrete are viable climbing surfaces for rats because their feet are equipped with paws that can grab and cling to even completely vertical surfaces.
You may ask yourself if they can climb walls, can rats climb trees as well?
Of course! Rats are great climbers, not limited to walls and fences. Trees that hang over the house or that touch the side of your home offer unseen gateways into your home.
As mentioned above, rats are resourceful, and will not hesitate to find a way into your home and out of the elements. Rats can jump, hang, climb, and stretch from a number of surfaces, and once they’re in, it’s very difficult to get them out on your own.
Rats can cause hundreds of dollars of damage within your walls, and can even cause electrical fires if they get at your home’s wiring.
If you want to protect your home, you need to be aware of possible entrances for rats. Under your home’s roof, along with the foundation, or even under concrete stairs can house these pesky rodents, oftentimes without you knowing they’re there.
Rats can climb almost anything
As stated previously, rats are fantastic climbers. This helps them evade predators and get into hard to reach places.
Rats are great at climbing in between house walls and will use this hidden network to get anywhere in your home. If you store food in your basement, rats can climb up and down the pipe drains to get where the food is. As you can imagine, this is less than ideal.
Rats can easily get anywhere in your home just by climbing between the struts and supports of your house. They’re also flexible enough to squeeze between small cracks, and their whiskers help them sense where they can and cannot go. Thankfully, there are a few surfaces that rats are not so keen on climbing.
Very smooth surfaces, like the walls inside of your home or glass, however, tend to be too smooth for rats to climb. However, bricks, and especially pebble work, tend to make good footholds for these rodents.
Making your home as rat-proof as possible
The first step in making your property rat-proof is to ensure that you block off all access to your house. Check the foundation, stairs, and investigate any cracks or holes that you may find. Even if it looks like a rat can’t fit through the hole, it is worth investigating just to be sure.
Rats can climb trees and tend to lay low in easily defendable areas, such as shrubs and hedges. By checking these areas thoroughly, it is possible you may come across a rat’s nest hidden among the branches. This is a very clear sign that you may have a rat issue to worry about.
How do I know I have rats?
There are many tell-tale signs that you may have rats, but a few clear indicators that you have rats are droppings or if you hear scratching in the walls. Rat droppings are small, but they’re easily distinguishable from other rodent droppings. Small, brown, and generally tapered, they can be found in dark corners of your home, or even along the baseboards.
Scratching is another indicator that you may have rats. Because they can squeeze themselves between your walls, you can hear their claws scratching against the wall as they climb. Hearing just one rat may warrant an investigation because where there’s one rat, there’s usually many more.
Check unfrequented parts of your home, such as behind boxes in the attic or basement. Rats like to hide and will do so in dark, warm corners of your home. Occasionally, they will nest inside the walls, so if you find any signs of rats in the home, you need to check it out.
Remember, a group of rats is called a problem
It’s very rare that you would have just one rat within your house. If you suspect you may have a rat infestation, it is probably time to call an expert who can get rid of them for you.
This is especially important if you believe there may be rats within the walls, where it’s very difficult to get them out. By calling an expert, you can then work to fix the entryways that rats may be getting in, and you’ll be one step closer to completely shutting rats out forever.