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Rat Control Professionals - Removing Rats from the Attic

Rats in the Attic

The most common critter to enter attics in many areas, including where I work, in Florida, is the rat. Once inside the home and attic, rats and mice cause the following problems:
  • Rats/Mice scratching in the attic
  • Rats/Mice scratching in the walls
  • Rats/Mice leaving droppings everywhere
  • Gnawing on electrical wires
  • Concerns over health risks
For these reasons, many people wish to have these nuisance rodents trapped and removed from the attic. Need help? Click this Nationwide Map of 1000's of Rat Removal Companies
 

How Do You Get Rats Out of the Attic? Follow these steps:

FIRST: Inspect your entire house or building, and find all the open holes and gaps that rats are using to get into the structure. This can include vents, eave gaps, roof lines, etc. Check from the ground up, and definitely the entire roof. Once inside, rats can scurry though any part of the architecture, the walls, the ceiling, and get into the attic, where they like to live and nest. Read about how are rats getting in.

SECOND: Seal up all of these entry holes, using steel, which rats can't chew through. I bolt the steel in place. Use a sealant to block off all air flow, and to discourage rats from trying to get inside (they can smell air coming through a gap).

THIRD: Only AFTER everything is sealed should you bother to trap and remove the rats. Set snap traps. They are definitely the best type of trap to use - on the rat runways in the attic. Read more about how to trap a rat here.

FOURTH: Remove the trapped rats until you hear no more sounds in the walls or attic. That's how you know the rats are gone.

FIFTH: Clean up the attic space afterward. Learn more about the process in my attic cleanup page.



There are two main species of rats in the US, the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat. The Roof Rat is more common in warm areas, and more likely to enter the attic. Norway Rats tend to stick to the ground and the sewers and basements, in their stomping grounds up north. House Mice live everywhere, and they also commonly go inside attics. Rats and mice are commensal rodents, which means that they associate themselves with people, not the wild. They are more common in cities than in the country. As such, they most commonly live inside buildings, and since they don't like to be seen, they mostly live in the walls and inside the attic. They are active year-round, and they can breed in very high numbers. Thus, rats in the attic can quickly get out of hand if not properly addressed.

How Do You Get Rats Out of the Attic? - The best tool is education. Here are tips about rats in the attic - how to detect the evidence, and how to solve the problem:

TYPE & TIME OF NOISE: Light scurrying noise at night, anywhere in the attic or walls. Not much else to say. They sometimes sound very fast. If the acoustics are right, they can sound much bigger than they are.

HOW THEY GOT INSIDE:
Rats can climb pretty much any surface. They can get wherever they want to go. They can squeeze through amazingly small holes and gaps. They can get in through the sewer pipes or any possible gap or hole in a home, from the foundation to the tip of the roof. They can also chew. If a rat detects just a small breeze coming from inside, they'll get in.

EVIDENCE LEFT BEHIND:
Rats leave a ton of droppings, sometimes tens of thousands of droppings in an attic - they look like 1/3 inch brown thick grains of rice, very similar to squirrel droppings. They also leave tunnels and trailways in the insulation. They also leave chew marks, and interestingly, they leave brown smudges from grease in their fur, and this lines the commonly travelled rat routes. You might see chew marks, on pipe insulation, wood, or electrical wires.



TIME OF YEAR:
24/7/365. However, rats are especially aggressive about getting inside a warm attic during a cold winter.

METHOD OF CONTROL:
First of all, mothballs or ammonia won't make them leave, nor will ultrasonic sound emitters or strobe lights. These tactics have been ruled fraudulent by the FTC, and they DO NOT WORK. POISON IS A HORRIBLE IDEA FOR MANY MANY REASONS - poison won't solve the problem, and it'll just create more problems. The only way to solve a rat or mouse problem is to find every last point of entry into the house, and seal it shut. Then the rats should be trapped and removed. Snap traps are actually the very best way to do it.

For more info on general rat control, go to my main rat removal page, or my extensive instructional how to get rid of rats page. Again, if you are having trouble doing it yourself, you can give a professional a call off of my directory of expert Rat Removal Companies, and see what they have to say, or schedule a service appointment to get the problem correctly and permanently taken care of.

Customer Email:
Hello David, Thank you for having a web site regarding rats in the attic. Yesterday I learned that a rat was in our attic. We discovered that it chewed it's way in through a roof vent. It seems to be trapped in the attic. It has been trying to work it's way out through the mesh/screening vent under the gutter. We have left some nuts near the attic opening in our garage. We left a tall latter under the attic opening and left the garage side door open. The rat found it's way to this area, ate a few peanuts, but returned to the mesh/screen vent. Today, I asked my husband to open up the screening on the vent that the rat was trying to get out from. He also repaired the area that the squirrel originally chewed to enter into the attic. My husband believes that it was too difficult for the rat to exit in the same way it had entered. Our hopes is that the rat will exit and after not hearing it for a day or two, we can repair the screen vent area. If the rat does not leave, we will learn that it is no longer concerned about being trapped and plans to stay. Our next step is, is to rent a live animal trap. We do believe that most likely, the rat is an expecting mother searching for a place to soon give birth. After reading your web site, we realize that we only have a short amount of time before she will have her babies. Please e-mail me your advice, opinion, and recommendation. Thank you, Sincerely, Renee

Renee - That's certainly a lot of monitoring and concern for a rat! I've never seen the like. The truth is that where there's one rat, there's usually several. It's quite possible that you have more than one rat on your hands. I'm surprised that you saw it, since it's very rare for people to spot these elusive and nocturnal creatures. Usually if you see one, there's ten you don't see. I can come to your house and perform a full inspection, and find out exactly what you've got going on, and take care of the problem for you, if you wish.

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