This short guide will reveal how to tell how many rats are in your house with a lot of precision.
You’ll learn to read the signs of rats in your home at specific places, which will lead you to determine their numbers.
Let’s dive in.
3 Ways To Tell How Many Rats Are In Your House
- Finding multiple rat nests in different places of your home
- Finding rat poop at large distances in your home
- Damages caused by rats in many yet distant places in your home
These three variables will give you a close idea of how many rats are hiding in your home.
Let’s find out more about them.
Multiple Rat Nests In Different Places Of Your Home
Before you unravel the hidden rat nests, it’s critical to know where rats inside a home build their nests.
Most of the time, rats build their nests in lofts, attics, under eaves, and wall cavities.
These places are safe for rats because of less human footfalls that these places receive.
However, rats can also build their nests in places like storage rooms, basements, and even inside cupboards and drawers with clothes in them.
Because rats’ babies like the softness and comfort of fabric.
Also, old newspapers, books, and magazines piling up in storage rooms and basements are ideal for rats to build their nests.
Cardboard boxes with newspapers and old clothes in your basement, attic, and storage rooms are also prime real estates for rats to nest.
But there’s a catch.
One rat will build only one nest. A single rat won’t build multiple nests in your home.
So, to find out how many rats are there in your home, it’s crucial to find out the rat nests.
The number of rat nests you find is precisely equal to the number of rats in your home.
So, if you find three rat nests, then there are at least three rats in your home.
And finding the number of rat nests is the best way to estimate the number of rats in your home.
Finding Rat Droppings At Multiple Places In Your Home And Property
To determine how many rats are infesting your home, you need to approximate the distance between places where you find rat poop.
There’s a solid reason for it. Let us explain.
Rats won’t travel beyond 100 feet from their nest inside a home. It never crosses 150 feet, even by generous estimates.
However, in the open fields and in outdoors, that distance is at the max of 300 feet.
This distance is not a straight-line distance. It’s the distance that includes the contours of baseboards and floor.
So, if you find rat poop, rat smear marks, and rat urine stains more than the gap of 100-150 feet from each other, then there’s a possibility of multiple rats in your home.
However, this won’t exactly tell you how many rats are infesting your home.
But you get a fair estimate that there are multiple rats in your home.
And you need to dig deeper to unravel the rat nests to conclude how many rats are in your home.
Damages Caused By Rats At Multiple Places In Your Home
Damages caused by rats are one of the primary signs of rat infestation.
Rat damages include gnawing marks on the food storage containers, fabric, carpets, rugs, furniture, and food storage in your kitchen pantry.
Rats can also get inside wall cavities to hide and build their nests.
If you notice these damages in multiple places of your home that are more than 100 feet apart, there can be multiple rats.
How many of them are there in your home? Well, it’s hard to tell by solely relying on this sign.
But the second and the third sign lead you to look for rat nests, or they should affirm that there are multiple rats in your home.
What Should You Do If Find A Rat’s Nest In Your Home?
Rat nests look like a jumbled-up heap of shredded paper, fabric, cardboard items, and at times, leaves and twigs too.
And you’ll discover rat nests in their hiding places if you’re consistently seeing rats in your house.
On seeing a rat nest, don’t try to destroy it straight away.
Rat nests contain pathogens that can become airborne if you disturb the rat nest.
Inhaling those pathogens is harmful.
So, wear a mask and rubber hand gloves. Pick up the rat nest and place it in a plastic bag.
Seal the plastic bag and dispose of it away from your property.
To deal with the adult rats, keep rat snap traps that will kill the rats instantly.
If rat babies are in the rat nest, call a pest controller or wildlife control expert.
They can provide a humane solution to eliminate the rat nest with rat babies.
Finding multiple rat nests in your home will tell you how many rats there are in your home.
It’s because one rat makes only one nest.
This guide also revealed two other signs that can tell you how many rats are in your home.
But those signs support the first sign, which is the number of rat nests.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.