Evidence of Rats
There are many different ways to identify rodent activity, and it is important to know all of them so that you are able to tell if you are having a rat issue quickly. The sooner you know what you’re dealing with the sooner you are able to start to get rid of them. Since rats are so shy, it is unlikely that you will be able to see them, so you will have to rely on other methods to determine that it is indeed rats you are dealing with.
One of the first signs people notice is the sounds in the attic that come with having rats living above you. These sounds are often light and quick, resembling a scurrying or scratching sound. This is often heard during the night, when rats are most active and looking for food. You will often hear the noises all over, rather than concentrated to just one area. While the noises are typically not very loud, they are known to keep people awake at night.
You may also notice food in your kitchen looking like it may be messed with. Things are known to go missing, or just have obvious chew marks on them. Even food which is brand new and unopened isn’t safe, since rodents are able to chew through many different types of packaging mediums like cardboard or plastic. Rats are known for having a couple bites of food on the scene, and then carrying the remainder back to the nest.
Rodents have the constant need to gnaw on things, which keeps their front teeth dull and from growing too long. This gnawing can be a good indicator of rat activity, as you can search for gnaw marks on different areas of the house - such as wood beams, food, or even on electric wires.
While it’s nasty, you can also identify rats by the droppings that you can find. Since there is more than one rat in your attic, you can expect to find many droppings. These will resemble small brown grains of rice, which are often larger than mice droppings and smaller than squirrel droppings. Rats use the “latrine system”, meaning that they do their best to keep their droppings in one location. Often, this can be found in a corner opposite where they are nesting.