If you’ve been noticing a few strange happenings around your home and suspect that you may have a rat infestation, you’re not alone! Rats are one of the most common nuisances for homeowners, especially in Australia. 

In this article, we’ll explore the signs that indicate a rat infestation, the reasons behind sudden rat appearances, how to effectively get rid of the little buggers, and whether it’s best to tackle the problem yourself or call in for Expert Pest Control

What are the Signs that You Have a Rat Infestation?

So, what are some of the most common signs that you may have a rat infestation in your home? 

Rats are nocturnal creatures and prefer to stay hidden, making them rather difficult to detect at times. However, there are several tell-tale signs that point to a rat infestation:

  • Droppings: Rat droppings are small, dark, and pellet-shaped. Look for them in areas where rats are likely to travel, such as along walls, in cupboards, or near sources of food and water.
  • Gnaw Marks: Rats have a constant need to chew in order to keep their teeth nice and sharp. Look for gnaw marks on furniture, baseboards, electrical wires, or other objects around your home.
  • Nests: Rats tend to build their nests using shredded materials like paper, fabric, or insulation. Check dark, secluded areas such as attics, basements, or crawl spaces for signs of nests.
  • Grease Marks: Rats have oily fur that leaves smudge marks along their regular pathways. Look for greasy streaks on walls or surfaces near their most likely hiding spots.
  • Unusual Noises: If you hear scratching or scurrying sounds coming from inside the walls, ceilings, or attic (*shudders*), it could be a clear sign of rats.

If you’ve noticed one or more of the above signs, then you’ve almost certainly got a rat infestation on your hands. But why did they choose to invade your home? 

Many small funny baby rats warming together one on top of another.

Why am I Getting Rats All of a Sudden?

It’s incredibly frustrating when rats suddenly appear in your home, seemingly out of nowhere. However, there are several reasons that might explain their untimely invasion:

  • Easy Food Sources: Rats are attracted to easy sources of food, so if there are open food containers, regular crumb spills, or unsecured garbage bins in and around your property, it can (and likely will) attract rats.
  • Bountiful Water Sources: Like all animals, rats need a constant water source to survive. Leaky pipes, standing water, or open containers can provide them with the moisture they need to establish a nest in your home. 
  • Cluttered Mess and Shelter: Rats seek shelter in cluttered areas, such as piles of debris, stacked boxes, or unused furniture. Removing potential hiding spots can help deter them. In other words, get your spring clean on – no matter what time of year it is. 
  • Open Entry Points: Rats can enter your home through very, very small openings, such as gaps in doors, windows, or walls. Even a small hole or crack the size of a penny can provide access for these persistent little creatures.

While this information certainly doesn’t help when you already have an infestation, it’s important to understand what attracts rats so that you can avoid suffering another infestation in the future. 

Is a Rat Infestation Dangerous?

You’re likely wondering just how dangerous a rat infestation is. Unfortunately, a rat infestation is indeed very dangerous as it can pose the following risks to your health and to your property:selective focus of small rat near exterminator holding toxic equipment

  • Health Risks: Rats carry diseases, including leptospirosis, hantavirus, and salmonellosis. Their droppings and urine can contaminate surfaces and food, increasing the risk of infection – especially if you have small children.
  • Property Damage: Rats have strong teeth that can chew through practically anything, including electrical wires, pipes, insulation, and even structural materials, thus causing extensive damage to your home.
  • Fire Hazard: Chewed electrical wires pose a significant fire risk, potentially leading to electrical malfunctions or short circuits. 

The simple fact is; that a rat infestation is something that should be dealt with as swiftly as possible. If you wish to protect yourself, your family, and your property, we urge you to take immediate action. 

How Do You Get Rid of Rats?

Now on to the important question: how do you effectively get rid of rats in your home? There are several effective methods you can try:

  • Seal Entry Points: Inspect your home for potential entry points and seal them off. Use steel wool, caulk, or wire mesh to block any gaps or holes that rats may use to access your property.
  • Remove Food and Water Sources: Eliminate any attractants that may be drawing rats to your home. Store food in airtight containers, clean up spills promptly, and secure garbage bins with tight-fitting lids.
  • Set Traps: Snap traps and live traps can be effective in capturing rats. Place traps along walls, near their pathways, or in areas where you’ve noticed rat activity. Be sure to use proper bait, such as peanut butter or dried fruit, to entice them.
  • Use Rodenticides: Commercial rodenticides can be used cautiously but should be handled with care, especially if you have children or pets. Follow the instructions carefully and place the baits in areas inaccessible to non-target animals.

selective focus of small rat near glass jar with barley and mousetraps

Is it OK to DIY a Rat Infestation or Should I Call the Experts?

While DIY methods can help control small rat infestations, it’s often best to call in professional rat control specialists, such as Expert Pest Control – here’s why:

  • Expertise: We have the knowledge and experience to identify the extent of the infestation, locate hidden areas, and use appropriate methods for effective and immediate rat removal.
  • Safety: Dealing with rats by yourself can be risky, especially when using traps or chemicals. Fortunately, we are well-trained to handle these situations safely and effectively, thus minimising the potential risks to you and your family.
  • Long-Term Solutions: We can provide long-term solutions to prevent future rat infestations. We can also identify vulnerabilities in your home and offer recommendations to seal entry points, eliminate attractants, and implement proactive measures so you never have to deal with something like this again.
  • Time and Convenience: Hiring the pros saves you time and effort. We have the necessary tools, equipment, and resources to efficiently address the rodent problem, thus allowing you to spend your precious time elsewhere. 

Final Thoughts

Being able to identify the tell-tale signs of a rat infestation is critical in being able to act swiftly in response. 

While DIY methods can be effective for small infestations, calling in rat pest control experts is almost always the superior choice.

Don’t let rats take over your home and cause sleepless nights—take action today and regain control of your living space! 

If you are in Sydney and want to effectively eradicate those furry critters from your home? Simply contact us today and we’ll come running!