Have you seen a rat in your home?

Rats Inside Homes and Buildings

Why are rats entering your building?


When temperatures drop, they need a place to fight the cold and hibernate during the harshest season. A sheltered space protected from cold air, rain and storms is ideal for these rodents.

Rats often hide behind appliances such as refrigerators or freezers, in attics, in basements, under floorboards, or in recesses in walls near electrical wiring.


Rats like to live near humans because they can easily find food. Their favorite places to look for food are grocery stores, food processing factories, garbage bins and kitchens in houses and apartments.

They are opportunistic omnivores, meaning they feed on virtually anything edible: stems, leaves, fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, pasta, bread, insects, grains, seeds, etc. They also need a source of fresh water to drink.

How do rats and mice get inside?


Rats and mice enter buildings by squeezing and wriggling through the smallest of openings, e.g. through cracks or crevices, under doors, through pipes or between electrical wires. Rats can squeeze through a gap of more than 6mm in diameter and mice only need a opening the size of a pen.

They can also get in by creating an entrance, such as digging a tunnel from the outside of the building to the inside, or by gnawing an access hole in easily breakable materials such as plastic, plaster, or wood.

Smear marks from belly fat

Rats have a natural belly fat on their fur. Rodents’ physical contact with a surface often leaves dark gray marks – smear marks – along the paths they take from their hiding places to food or water sources.
Newer markers rub off when touched, while older markers look brittle and crumble when scratched.

Never touch feces, urine or smear marks without gloves.

Noises at night

Rodents are nocturnal animals and in the quietness of the night it’s easier to hear the noises they make when running, fighting, scrabbling, gnawing or clawing in walls, ceilings, floors or out in the yard. You might hear as well the squeaky noises the young rats make to communicate with each other.

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