Updated: January 7, 2023

Rats are a common pest that can cause numerous health and safety issues. They can spread diseases, contaminate food and damage property. Knowing how to control, kill and prevent them is an important first step in protecting yourself and your family from the dangers of these pesky creatures.

Signs of a Rat Problem

The most common sign of a rat problem is hearing scratching noises in walls or ceilings at night. Rats are active at night and will skitter around in search of food or shelter. Other signs include feces (droppings), gnawed food packages, holes in walls, and nests made out of shredded paper or fabric. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to take action.

How to Get Rid of Rats

Getting rid of rats starts with a thorough inspection of your home or business to identify where they are living. This information can be used to create an effective rat control plan. Traps and poisons are the most commonly used methods for killing rats but can be dangerous for people and pets if not used properly. For this reason, it’s best to hire a professional pest control service to help with the extermination process.

How to Prevent Rats

The best way to prevent rats is to make sure they don’t have access to food, water, and shelter. This means sealing off cracks and crevices in walls and ceilings, cleaning up spilled food and pet waste immediately, and storing food in sealed containers. It’s also important to remove clutter from the house or yard that could provide rats with hiding places.

What Attracts Rats

Rats are attracted to food, water, and shelter which means they will be drawn to areas where these resources are available. They also like dark, cramped spaces like attics and crawlspaces which make them harder to detect until the problem has become severe.

What Does a Rat Eat?

Rats will eat anything they can get their hands on including pet food, birdseed, fruits and vegetables, nuts, eggs, cheese, bread, and even small animals such as mice or insects.

Where Does a Rat Hide?

Rats like dark places where they can feel safe so they often hide in attics, basements, and crawl spaces as well as under furniture or appliances. They can also squeeze into very small spaces so it’s important to inspect your home thoroughly when looking for them.

What is the Lifecycle of a Rat?

A rat’s life span is typically between one and two years but can vary depending on environmental factors such as access to food, water, and shelter. The average female rat gives birth to 8-12 offspring after a gestation period of 22-24 days. Baby rats reach sexual maturity between five and eight weeks old and will reproduce quickly if conditions are favorable.

Can a Rat Lay Eggs?

No, rats do not lay eggs. They give birth to live young after a gestation period of about three weeks.

What Size is a Rat?

Rats range in size from 8-12 inches long including their tail. The average adult rat weighs approximately 12 ounces but some species can weigh up to 24 ounces.

What Time of Year is a Rat Most Active?

Rats are most active during the fall months when cooler temperatures cause them to search for shelter indoors. They are also active year-round in warmer climates such as Florida or California where temperatures remain mild throughout the year.


Rats can be difficult pests to get rid of but with proper knowledge about how to control them you should be able to protect yourself from their dangers. Start by inspecting your home for signs of infestation then contact a professional pest control service if needed. Finally, take steps to prevent future infestations by eliminating sources of food, water, and shelter that may attract rats into your home or business.

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