A rat infestation can happen anywhere, at your home, office and even your local store. And it can be a painstaking task getting rid of them all, especially if the population has grown large. Prevention is always better than a cure, so if you’re aware of possible rat infestations or other pests in your area, you better be careful and take some preventative measures to make sure these critters don’t infest your home as well.

A rat infestation can be dangerous for you and your family, as these rodents are responsible for carrying many diseases. On top of that, rats can also cause destructive damage to your house and your belongings as well as contaminate your food and area where you prepare food. Therefore, it’s very important to know of certain signs of a rat infestation.

Rodent droppings in your house

Although some rodents can be seen during the day, rats are very secretive and usually stay in their hideouts while it’s light outside, and come out only at night. The possibility of seeing rat droppings will depend on whether the rat population is large or small. If it’s one or two rats you might not see that many rat droppings, or won’t notice them at all. But if you’re seeing a lot of dark droppings that resemble a large grain of rice in your house, especially in areas such as your drawers, your cupboards or under the sink. And these droppings turn gray when they are dry, you probably have a rat infestation. Because these droppings are the number one tell-tale sign that rats have infested your home. The largest number of droppings will be in the areas where the rats feed and nest, so you must look out for these spots.

Gnaw marks on food packaging

Rats are very attracted to areas where there is a lot of trash, food waste, or lots of disposing of food and food packages. They also frequent areas where you prepare food aka your kitchen. And since rats can bring diseases into your home, it’s dangerous to have them around and you need to deal with the rat infestation as soon as you can.

If you’re seeing gnaw marks on your food waste or packaged food, this also might be due to a rat problem. If you see large gnaw marks then you most likely have rats, while mice leave visibly smaller gnaw marks. Therefore, look for these marks, because they are another indicator of a rat infestation.

A foul odor

If you’re smelling a new foul smell in your kitchen or your storage area, that also means that some kind of infestation is going on. If the odor is new and you haven’t smelled anything like it before, the rat problem is most likely new and rats have just recently started living in or around your home. While if the odor has been there for a while it might be that you are living with a rat infestation for a while now.

Also, if you see your pets pawing in that area where rats are nesting or feeding during the night, that also can be a sign of a rat infestation. If that is the case, your cats and dogs would become very active in that area where there are signs of rats. And if after examining the area with a flashlight you see rodent droppings, then you most likely have a rat or mice problem.

Rat tracks

Rats leave behind tracks, especially in your food storage area. These tracks usually are in the form of smudge marks, paw prints, or droppings. And in the worst case scenario, you will even see the holes the rodents use to get to your food. All these are confirmed signs that an infestation has occurred and rats are nesting somewhere in your home. Want to be extra sure that those are signs of rodents you are seeing? Sprinkle any white powder in the areas frequented by the rodents, and if in the morning there are fresh tracks in the powder then it will confirm that you, indeed, have a rat or mouse problem.

The worst thing about having rats is that the longer you leave your rodent problem unattended the quicker the rat population will increase and the bigger the infestation will become. And, if this has already happened, you might want to as for professional help to get rid of the rodents.

Rat nests

In some cases, you might even be able to locate the rats’ nests or see signs or the rodents nesting somewhere in your house. For example, if you are seeing shredded cardboard, food packaging or paper in random places in your home, something is definitely going on, since these materials are often used by rodents to create their nests. And if there are nests, there also is a good chance that soon the rat population will grow, so start acting soon. You do not want to leave the rat infestation to go unchecked for long.

Unalienable noises

Sometimes it’s very easy to find rat hideouts and burrows, or at least see rodent trail marks. While sometimes, when the population is small, you might not see any signs of a rat infestation or ignore them mistaking the rat problem for something else. Noise is another great indicator of a rodent infestation, however, this sign often goes ignored. When it comes to rats you might hear faint scratching noises during the night, especially if the rats have infested your attic or have gotten under your floorboards. Yet, because these noises usually aren’t that distinct, you can write them off as unimportant. However, don’t ignore them. If you hear scratching, check it out! And if it turns out that there are other signs of a rodent infestation, you will be glad that you didn’t brush off the rat noises. Because then you will know that you do have a rat problem and will be able to take action to get rid of these rodents.