Tips for Preventing, Identifying and Treating Rats

rat infestation

While it’s true that rats make excellent pets, there’s a huge difference between the domesticated white rat and the rats long held responsible for spreading diseases for centuries.

Finding an unwanted rat in your home is startling and fairly traumatic. With at least ten diseases that can be directly transmitted by rats, you’re going to want to know the best home pest control techniques to prevent and eliminate rats for good.

Inspect Your Home for Evidence of a Rat Infestation

While sometimes the first clue you have that there’s a rat infestation is the rat itself, there are other clues you can search for that indicate you have rats in your home.


Unfortunately, rats like to poop, a lot. Which is a good thing if you’re trying to find out if they’ve infiltrated your home, but be careful because rat droppings can carry disease.

Rat droppings are about three times larger than mouse droppings and range in length from 1/4 to 1/2 inches in length. They’re shaped like medicine capsules and have blunt ends. They also tend to be a shiny black color depending on their diets.

Rat Tracks

Grease marks on the walls are one sign that you have rats. They’ll also leave tracks inside from their hind feet with a tail trail running through the middle.

Sounds and Smells

You might hear running, gnawing or scratching sounds at night. Since rats are nocturnal, if you hear them during the day, it’s a sure sign you have a heavy rat infestation problem on your hands.

You might also notice unpleasant smells in your home. Rat feces, urine, and of course, dead rats will also leave a nasty smell in your home. If left untended, these can all cause further damage to your home.

Holes and Gnawings

Speaking of damage, letting rats stay in your home too long can lead to bigger problems, since they’ll eat through electrical wiring, food packaging, and gnaw holes into your home.

Sanitize and Eliminate Their Food

Home pest control can start by taking a few actions yourself. One way is to clear out the clutter in your home. Otherwise, the rats will start to thrive because they have great sources of food, water, and shelter.

To ensure the rats don’t continue to live like kings, store bulk food items in metal containers with tight-fitting lids. Boxes and bags can easily be gnawed through.

Remove excess paper and cardboard that rats can use to build their nests, as well as grass clippings and weeds.

Identify and Close Up Their Entryways

Since rats can enter a hole as small as 1/2 inch, you’ll want to seal up any holes you see in your doors, vents, pipes, windows, and screens.

To be safe from any pest, seal up any holes that are 1/4-inch-thick with wood or caulk.

Eliminate and Prevent With Home Pest Control

You’ll want to eliminate the rats you already have living in your home by baiting and trapping them. However, you also must take precautions to ensure that future rat generations don’t end up repopulating in your home. The most effective way to control a rat infestation is through prevention.

Often, it’s safest and easiest to call in the professionals at this point. There’s no need to continue to deal with rodent  issues yourself. Give us a call and ask about our free consultation. We’ll get the job done and ensure your home is pest and rodent free!

AmeriTech Pest Solutions is a full-service termite and pest control company in Covington, GA dedicated to helping people  just like you solve their pest problems and live pest-free lives. Call us  for a free consultation and 58-point pest analysis.