Pest Patrol: 6 Signs of Rat Infestation 

Guest Post by Natalie Ige

Winter is right around the corner here in Melbourne and along with it comes rodent season.

As the days and nights get colder, rodents and other pests are going to seek warm and dry shelter in and around your home, and so rat control must absolutely become a priority for you and your household.

Find a list of telltale signs of rodent infestation below and study up to ensure that you and your family stay well-equipped to deal with potential infestations this winter.

1. Rat droppings

As most of the signs of rodent infestation are largely unseen or often go unnoticed, the most common sign that triggers families to call pest control services are in fact rat droppings clearly visible in your living and kitchen spaces.

As rats are largely nocturnal and tend not to traverse open spaces, rat droppings that are clearly visible are a sure sign of infestation and you should absolutely check for droppings in and around your pantry and cupboards and any other nooks and crannies.

2. Scratching noises

Once you’ve seen a dropping or two, it’s worthwhile keeping your ears pricked for scratching sounds around your home so that you can pinpoint where the rats may be hiding.

It’s common for people to hear scratching sounds above their ceiling in their insulation, but rats can also be just as comfortable in your walls.

If you do hear anything scratching sounds in your walls, it’s recommended that you promptly call a pest control professional to minimise damage to your home.

3. Scratch marks and other damage in the home

Like rabbits, rats have teeth that grow continuously, and so they need to be constantly chewing and gnawing to prevent their teeth from becoming overgrown.

This continuous gnawing will come at the expense of your skirting boards, furniture legs, and any exposed cables.

Frayed wires can be a genuine fire hazard in any household, so if you do find any evidence of this or other rodent damage, it’s best to act quickly to ensure the safety and security of not just your home but also your family.

If left unchecked, a rodent infestation has the potential to cause great structural damage to your home, so it’s highly recommended that you take a proactive approach to rat control to ensure minimal risks of lasting damage.

4. Torn packaging

In a similar fashion to structural damage, you may also find that food packaging in your pantry and other kitchen spaces may be torn and foods may be displaced due to rodent activity.

If you do find any torn packaging, be sure to clear any spilled foods efficiently to minimise your risk of attracting more rodents and potentially also other pests like ants.

If you have pets or small children, you should also search your kitchen and living areas for bits of food or plastic packaging that may have been carried by rats and clear any of this potentially harmful debris.

5. Tracks and smudges

If you’ve ever had a rodent infestation in your home, you may be all too familiar with the little footprints and dark smudges that tend to give away the nocturnal movements of your rodent population. . . . But why do rodents leave these dark smudges on your walls?

As rats are wont to crawl through some tight and rather unclean spaces, they’re very likely to carry grease and other contaminants on their coats.

Alongside this, rats tend not to walk across open floors and prefer to stick closer to the edges of any indoor space, which is usually what leads to dark streaks on the walls of a house that’s tackling a rat infestation.

Feel free to try and find patterns in your rat tracks to see if they may help you find where your rodents may be hiding.

Just be mindful of hygiene practices whilst searching so as to minimise you and your family’s risk of disease.

6. Rats visible during daylight

The last and most compelling sign of an infestation tends to be seeing a rat with your bare eyes and in broad daylight.

Although you may find this to be the most concrete evidence, it’s also a sign that your infestation has progressed to a dangerous point, as there are bound to be many other rats that are going by unseen.

If you happen to come across a rat’s nest, the best path of action that you can take is to call a pest control professional and have your infestation handled expertly to minimise risks of disease for you and your family.

Like most household pests, rodent infestations are never an enjoyable experience, but they don’t need to be debilitating either.

So long as you act quickly, chances are high that you and your family will be on your way to experiencing a rodent-free abode once again!