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Rat Infestation

Rats are well known to spread disease, damage property and contaminate food and animal feed. If they are able to gain entry into your home or business area, they can introduce other unwelcome parasites like fleas, lice and ticks.

Acting upon the first sign of a suspected problem can help to drastically reduce the length of time needed to effectively control an infestation. Rats are able to breed quickly and have the potential to develop into a serious issue if left unmanaged.

Call Rentokil today for advice and to schedule a rat inspection of your home or business or contact us now.

How To Identify Signs of Rats

As nocturnal creatures, rats are most active between dusk and dawn and usually hide from humans during the day. It is often easier to spot signs of a problem, rather than the actual pest.

  • Rat Droppings - usually found in concentrated areas as rats produce up to 40 droppings per night. Brown rat droppings are dark brown in a tapered, spindle shape about 9–14mm long. They can resemble a large grain of rice.
  • Scratching Noises - Think you might have rats in your roof? Black rats (also known as the roof rat) are agile climbers and can easily gain access into loft spaces and upper floors of buildings. Hearing scratching noises at night from above may suggest their presence. Brown rats on the other hand, are less adept climbers. You may hear them scurrying under decking, sheds and floorboards. They are more likely to be identified by a grinding noise they make with their teeth known as bruxing.
  • 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.
  • Damage - Rats have teeth that grow continuously. They need to gnaw on wood and plastic to keep them trim. They have the potential to cause fires by chewing through electrical cables. You may also notice ripped food packaging, as rats tear open food, leaving visible teeth marks.
  • Nests - Rats build nests in warm, hidden places using shredded material such as newspaper and fabrics. Nests will often contain young rats and are usually located close to a food source. Check behind and under appliances, such as fridges and freezers in or near your kitchen.
  • Burrows - Brown rats are well known for digging and excavating extensive burrow systems for shelter, food storage and nesting. Look for burrows in compost heaps, under decking or garden sheds, or in garages.
rat dropping

Rat droppings can generally be found in places where rats usually pass. The shape, color and size of mouse droppings vary greatly depending on the mouse species.

For example, rat droppings have a size of about 18mm, are dark brown in color and have a blunt tip like a capsule. While the droppings of roof rats have a length of about 12mm with a curved shape like a banana with a pointed end.

Learn more about the differences between each mouse species here.

Scratchy voice

Often hear the sound of scratching on the roof of the house? If so, this could be an early sign that there are mice in your home right now. One species of roof rat is an agile climber and often builds its nest on the roof or attic of your house.

On the other hand, the existence of other species of rats such as rats can be identified through the grinding sound that arises because they rattle or grind their teeth.

Rats often make loud noises at night, especially when they are looking for food and during the rainy season when they are looking for shelter.

Foot steps

Mice generally leave footprints and tails in dusty and rarely used places. To determine if the rat infestation is active or not, you simply sprinkle flour or fine powder in the area near where the rat footprints were found, and then check for new tracks the next day.


Rats often walk along walls because of their poor eyesight. The oil and dirt on their body will leave a dark stain or known as a smear on a surface such as a wall because it has been rubbed many times by their body.

Using a smear to detect the presence of mice may be one of the most effective ways you can do it. However, the smear stain can last for a long time, so it cannot be an accurate measuring tool to know the infestation of rat mites in your place.


rat damage

Mice can cause costly structural damage to almost any type of building through their habit of biting, digging and building nests. Rats' incisors, which always grow throughout their lives, require them to sharpen their teeth so they don't grow too big and sharp by biting or chewing a lot of things.

Through the habit of biting rats, the presence of rats in a house or a business can cause a potential fire due to a short circuit caused by damage to an electric cable bitten by rats.

In addition, you also need to be suspicious when you can find food product packaging that is torn and leaves tooth marks that mice do while searching for food sources in your home or business.

Rat's nest

rats hole

Not all rodents dig holes, but pit rats often dig holes 2-4 inches in diameter for shelter, food storage, and nests.

You can find holes dug or made by rats in the following areas:

  • Under the compost pile
  • Along the foundation of the building
  • Under the trash pile
  • Among the bushes

Have You Spotted Rat Droppings?

If you think you have rats, it is important to act quickly to control the level of infestation and reduce the health risks posed by this rodent.

At Rentokil, our qualified local technicians are backed by global knowledge and innovation and are able to provide the most effective rat control services best suited to your problem.

We can also advise you on how to deter rats in the first place to avoid an infestation in your home or business.

CCall Rentokil today on 150808 for a FREE site inspection, if you are worried about a rat problem. Alternatively you can drop us a message online.

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