Whenever rats infest our attic, they create a very dangerous environment in our home. Unfortunately, if they have entered our attics, they will be quick to take up our entire residence. Once they have conquered our homes, it will be impossible to get rid of them quickly. However, the right products and right advice can do the wonder. And, I am here to provide the best of advice when you have rats in the attic.
Here is the evidence of having rats in the attic:
- Tampered Packages – Rats will tear into any packaging they can to get to food or water.
- Chew Marks – Rats have the tendency to chew on things such as cables and wires.
- Droppings – They multiply very fast and tend to leave droppings in their wake.
- Noise – They often make a sound in their walls or attic at night.
- Trails – rats mark the trails they use at night by defecating and urinating.
Well! Apart from paying attention to signs of rats, it’s imperative to know how they get into your attic. The most common mistake we all often do is leaving our attics dirty believing that rats don’t infest these areas. Please note that rats will nest anywhere that is dark, quiet, and safe for them. Attics are an ideal place for them to hide, nest, and have babies.
They use various methods to get into the attic such as climbing or through garbage cans coming in from outside. Even a tiny hole can play an important role in bringing the rodents into your home. They can even climb a branch coming to your attic as they are pretty good climbers. Other potential entryways include the stacked firewood and trash cans that you bring from outside.
Do rats leave the attic during the day?
If going with my own experience, I would say NO. Rats are nocturnal creatures and don’t leave the attic during the day. In fact, they sleep in the attic all day and become active during the night. Rats often look for food when others are sleeping. They leave their nests in search of food and water during the night. Also, they don’t leave the attic for very long especially when you have dogs or cats. And rodents often avoid danger waiting for them outside.
Rats can travel from 100 to 300 feet from their nest to any other place in search of food and water. This means, they don’t go far away from their hiding place. These nocturnal creatures are most active between dusk to dawn. That is the reason we don’t see them during the day as they are not active at that time.
What time of day do rats come out?
Well! Talking about the time of day rats come out, they will generally come out in search of food at night. Rats are nocturnal creatures and therefore, they are most active between dusk and dawn. In such a scenario, whether they are hunting for food or their nest has been disturbed. However, they do sometimes venture out in the daytime. But during the day light, they don’t go far from their nest. And it happens only when they are in urgent need of food and water.
Rats are one of those pests that are very easy to breed. Though they do not have a breeding season, very hot and cold temperatures may reduce breeding. Rats can reach sexual maturity even at 5 weeks of age. Females of breeding age come into heat all year-round or we can say every 4 to 5 days. That is why the population multiplies in hundreds if there is rat infestation in your home.
Though each female has a regular schedule, sometimes it can vary. Generally, each heat begins in the evening and lasts most of the night. It is also possible for domestic rats to mate with roof rats. But in this case, the babies will not survive as the embryos will be reabsorbed, aborted, or born dead.
The gestation period varies from 21 to 23 days and a postpartum pregnancy will last 28 days. There is a noticeable change in the mother’s abdomen in two weeks pregnancy. As the time of birth approaches, pups are also noticeable inside her. Also, her mammary glands will start to enlarge. In rats, the average litter size is 6-13 pups.
As far as age is concerned, it does not matter for males as they can be fertile even into old age. However, a female approaches menopause at about 18 months of age and therefore becomes less fertile.
Mice vs. Rats – What’s the difference?
The difference between rats and mouse may seem obvious to many as they fall into the rodent family. But how can you exactly tell a mouse from a rat? Well, the first difference is the size and the second one is the appearance. The typical house mouse is anywhere from two to four inches in length whereas a rat measures seven to nine inches.
The mouse has large floppy ear, triangular snouts with long whiskers, long and thin hairy tails, and is mostly white, brown or gray in color. On the other hand, rats have larger ears as compared to mice. Rats have more blunt snout than mice and the long tail is usually hairless and scaly. Mice produce 40-100 droppings per day while rats produce 20-50 droppings per day.
Coming to the behavioral difference, mice tend to be a bit bolder than rats. Mice are more curious than rats and love to explore new things. This is great news for us as they tend to explore traps alsoJ. Rats live in fear and do not like to explore new things or it takes a lot longer. That is why rats are difficult to trap as they don’t fall into new things easily.
Talking about the nesting, mice are great climbers and can create their nest anywhere in the house. They can pass through tiny holes and make nests in the attic, basement, walls, etc. On the other hand, rats prefer lower levels to create a nest. They mostly like the basement or a crawlspace for nesting.
We can’t ignore the damage caused by mice and rats as it’s a serious issue. The damage can be significant whether your house is infested by rats or mice. They both can gnaw on various structures such as wires, furniture, food packaging, etc. If the level of damage is concerned, rats can cause the severe one as they are much stronger than mice.
Both rats and mice can cause serious health problems as they transmit bacteria and other diseases agents.
How to get rid of rats?
Rats, the warm-blooded rodents can be found almost everywhere in the world. They carry dangerous diseases and cause serious damage to the properties. Therefore, it becomes imperative to get rid of them. But the question is how? Here’s how you can get rid of rats:
- Get a Cat – Cats are great hunters and natural rat predators, so the best option to get rid of rodents.
- Use Traps – Leave traditional rat traps in the infested areas and you can easily get them from an online store.
- Natural Repellent – Use natural repellents like peppermint, onion oil, cocoa powder, and other herbs.
- Close All Openings – To prevent rats from entering your house, seal any openings or holes, or cracks.
- Use Fresh Cab – One of the easiest ways to get rid of rodents is by using Fresh Cab botanical repellent.
- Prevent Infestation – Seal all the trash bags properly and make it a habit to dump them on regular basis.
- Use Closed Containers – Rats come in search of food, so seal up all the food in your house and store in airtight containers.
Mice infestation in the attic
There are several different signs to determine you have mice infestation in the attic. The house mouse is a common pest that loves to hide in spaces like the attic. Once inside the attic, mice can cause scratching, gnawing, and leaving droppings everywhere. An attic offers a perfect shelter to mice as it’s warm and dry. It is also safe for them to create a nest as there is no predator’s interference.
Your attic can become infested with mice if it has enough resources such as food, water, or even waste material. Mice can chew on anything like cables, containers, or PVC piping. If you don’t take care of the problem, you may end up with damage, both to your health and property.
You need to get rid of mice in the attic as soon as possible to avoid damage to your health and property. And to be truly successful in getting rid of mice, you have to discover the root cause.
Now you know how problematic rats can be once they invade your attic. Fortunately, you have some extremely creative and effective solutions. Let’s check them out:
- Cover Vents – Make your attic as uncomfortable as possible for rats and the best way is to stop them entering in. Cover vent using stainless steel screen so that mice and rats can’t chew it up.
- Weep Hole Cover – Cover all the weep holes that lead to the attic as it is one of the easiest ways for rodents to enter. You can easily buy weep hole covers online and they are available in different sizes.
- Cover Attic Window – An attic window is large enough to attract different type of rodents. So cover it with proof wire mesh so that rodents are not able to play hide and seek.
- Good Sanitation – Whether or not you use your attic, it’s important to ensure there is proper sanitation. Make it a habit of cleaning the attic at least once or twice in a week. Rodents don’t visit places with much traffic.
If you have rats in the attic, it’s an issue worth giving your time. Getting rid of mice in the attic is one of the challenging tasks. The attic is a favorite place for mice as it is warm and safe and remains always quiet. There are plenty of nesting materials available in the attic such as newspapers, old boxes, etc.
You must be thinking that how having rats in the attic is a serious issue. Well! Rats or mice tend to breed rapidly and the attic is an ideal place for them to have babies. Once your attic is heavily infested, it can be a serious battle to get rid of them.
Here’s another point to note, rats and mice are known to carry more than 30 dangerous diseases. They can spread these diseases via their feces and urine. So, if you have rats or mice in the attic, you should do something as soon as possible.
Look for the signs such as droppings, footprints, dead mice, nesting debris, noise, grease marks, or gnaw marks in your attic. If you have confirmed that there are rats in the attic, follow the following steps:
- Look for holes or gaps in the entire house.
- Seal all the entry holes or gaps.
- Trap the rats or mice.
- Clean up and remove all the debris you found in the attic.
- Hire a pest controller in case of severe infestation.
So, pay some attention to your attic and be safe…