What does a rat nest look like and How to Get Rid of Them

What does a rat nest look like and How to Get Rid of Them

Wondering what does a rat nest look like?  A rat nest is not as easy to spot on as rats are really clever mammals when it comes to building their shelter. Plus, they are tiny so we expect also that their rat nest will be hard to trace. Here we give you the answers you’re looking for on rat nest and how can eliminate them.

A rat nest looks like any other tiny mammals such as bird’s nest. A rat nest is where rats mate and copulate so we can call it their love nest also. The primary use of rat nest is as the nursing home for rat’s offspring. Ironically, baby rats are called kittens too!

Rats were known to be one of the most intelligent animals in the worlds. They have distinct nature enabling them to be subject for research in laboratories specifically medicines that are yet to be tried to humans. They are also good pets for a special breed of rats. However, once the rats’ population gets bigger, they become a problem.

Rats are a vital element in the balance of our ecosystem. However, they are not as useful once they grew in number and become pests. A rat’s nest is an indication that rats are beginning to populate your surroundings. So grab your notes now and check our list of signs of rats infesting your lovely home.


What does a rat nest look like ? 5 Signs of Rat Nest to Look For

Many torn small pieces of mixed scrap materials.

In any case, you find what seem to be pieces of shredded scrap materials anywhere in your house; there is a high possibility of rat’s nest in there. These materials can vary from fabric, paper, styrofoam, wood sticks and other materials found in your home.

Rats chew these materials into little pieces and create their nest from it. The scrap materials are perfect for giving insulation, shelter, and security for pregnant female rats which are about to give birth.

Rats would collect these materials from your kitchen, trash bin, even from your clothes and pillows! Then they chew on them, stack them together and turn it into a ball which will serve as an incubator for newborn rats.

They would stay there for a few days until they would become independent from their mother’s care. This time it is their mothers who stay in the rats nest nurturing, protecting and feeding baby rats.

2. Urine marks and rat droppings all over the rat nest.

Rat droppings and urine marks are rats waste. The number of rat droppings and urine marks is important in tracing whether rat nest are already in your house. Rat droppings are around ¾ inch long and 1/8 inch in diameter and usually dark in color.

When it comes to shape, they are curved and looks like a sausage with pointed ends. Fresh rat droppings are soft and wet while old ones are grey and flaky in texture.

If you find about 40 to 50 pellets in a day, whether in small or large groups, it is a clear sign of rat nest resting in your house. It also means the rats are beginning to grow in number.

3. Rub marks on the flooring or ceiling.

Rats have problems when it comes to their eyesight. For them to create their trail coming back and forth from the rat nest to anywhere, they create rub marks. They leave greasy fur marks as their trail marks. You can see rub marks mostly in the dusty parts of the house. They leave dark grey smears as a result of oil in rat’s fur.

4. Hearing scratching noises.

Rats are known to be subtle when moving. They would simply crawl across floors and ceiling but this is not the case when they are building rat nest already. If you hear scratching noises, squeaking, and hissing, then there are rats in your house. The noise is called bruxing wherein rats grind their teeth together to relax of if they are stressed out.

Rats squeak or hiss as a response to stimuli like fear or pain. If you are hearing these noised more often than usual, a rat nest is present.

5. Rat holes in walls or your clothes or anywhere.

Rats use their sharp teeth to chew wood and even concrete. They use their teeth to create holes which will be the passageway to the rat nest. Watch out for rat holes in your house.

rats in house

Do rats nest inside homes?

The answer is a resounding yes! Just like other living creatures, rats need basic necessity in able to survive.  Below is what rats need to build their nest. All of which needs are found inside our homes.

1.Warm and secure place

Since rat nest is for baby rats, they need to be dry and warm. They need a sustainable insulation so the young rats would not die of coldness.

Rat nest should also be in a secured location. This means rat nest are commonly hidden and cannot be seen easily by people living in the house who will kill them instantly.

Rats population in the house increase specifically during the wet and cold winter time where they cannot survive outside. Also whenever there are floods in the surroundings.

2. Close and easy access to food and water

These are any living creatures’ basic needs, to eat and to drink. Rats display a “neophobic” behavior when building a rat nest. Here they secure a good source of food and water and establishing territory until they adjust to their new environment.

They can eat up to 30g of food and 60 ml of water every day. But this number can increase depending on how many rats in the nest.

3. Resources for rat nest building materials

Rat prioritize on building their rat nest so they make sure they have enough of crafting materials to build a warm, soft, and dry nest for their babies.

They pretty much use anything they can chew like your papers, grass, leaves, and pieces of wood sticks, your clothes or your blanket.


Common Rat Nest Locations inside the House

Now that we are sure that there is rats nest inside homes, it’s now time to locate them. Here are the most common locations in our house  where rats nest can be found:

1. Check the attic and lofts– Since these areas are usually not visited and unchecked, dry, and frequently storage of boxes, rats tend to settle here. The loft insulation can be their favorite.

2. Look at the kitchen and laundry area– These two are the best source of food and water so there’s no doubt they would build a nest in here.

Check behind appliances like the fridge, oven, and other heating units. You should also look under the washing machine.

3. Check other cluttered locations– Whether it is a storage room, your trash bin or compost pits, rat nest can be in there. Clutters are a perfect source of scrap materials and warmth.

4. Look above and below. Rat nests can be on the ceiling or in between your hardwood floors. Rat holes are commonly found in wood walls.


Where do rats nest outside in the garden?

rats nest in the gardenWhen rats cannot penetrate your garden, their next target is in your garden. The garden is also a perfect place to build a rat nest because of food and shelter resources.

Rats nest outside in the garden can be dangerous as they can spread diseases in the plants or vegetables you planted in there. Here are the signs on how to spot  rat nest in the garden:

1. Rat droppings– Just like what we mentioned above, rat droppings indicate the presence of rat nest in your garden (around 40 pellets per day).

2. Damaged garden hose– Rats would bite garden hoses in an attempt to get water or source for building their rat nest. Rats can chew almost anything from plastic, brick, wood, cement and even concrete blocks.

3. Rat footprints in the ground– Their small footprint is easy to distinguish from other animals in the garden. One tip to catch them is to sprinkle flour in the ground and wait for rats to walk in it.

4. Burrows in the garden– Rats not only good chewers but also great burrowers. They do this to create a secure spot for shelter and food resource.

5. Rats odor– A rat’s odor may not be that noticeable but if they are already many, you can easily tell that there are plenty of rats in your garden already. They actually smell like ammonia coming from their waste droppings.


Common Rat Nest Locations inside the Garden

These are the areas in your garden you can look out when tracing a rat nest. This might be more difficult than inside the house because a garden is naturally covered with grass, plants, and crops. Plus rats can be underground using the burrows they dug. However, you can prioritize your search on these following areas in your garden:

  • Bushes
  • Cardboard or paper waste
  • Compost bins packed with organic waste
  • Construction trash such as wood, concrete, plastic, foam and more
  • Recyclables of nearly any kind
  • Stacked firewood
  • Burrows under the ground dug up by other animals such as moles


Is there rat nest in car?

Your garage is also a feasible place for rat nest. Garage has also the elements found in the garden and in a house to sustain young rats. Garages have water and at times leftover foods. It also has the clutter rats are looking for to build nests. But the bigger problem would be when the rats enter your car.

Rat nest in the car can cause huge problems or worse, accidents. Most of the time, they cause wiring problems for they chew on wires. They would leave under the hood in your car’s engine. They can also build rat nest on air filters and can cause engine malfunction.

What does a rat nest look like inside the car? Pretty much the same with what’s inside your house. There’s clutter, mixed torn pieces of papers, food or the fillings of your car seats. Rat droppings and odor are also basic signs of rat nest.rat nest in car

How many rats in a nest?

Typically, you can find at least five (5) rats in a nest. But it is just in one nest! There can be more nests close to each other. Once you see one, immediately find ways to eradicate them before it’s too late.


How to get rid of a rats nest?

Now that you know what does a rat nest look like inside the car, it’s time to know the ways how to eliminate them.  Follow our how to get rid of rats nest below:

1. Try natural or household items to eliminate rat nest

You don’t have to buy pesticide instantly for this can be also harmful to your health. You can use items in the kitchen to kills rats like baking soda. Baking soda is an effective rat poison. Mix flour, sugar, and baking soda. The sugar and flour will attract the rats but the baking soda will kill them. You can also use coca powder and onions oil. There are also lots of  Rodent Repellent in the market.

2.Close any gaps or holes in your house garden or garage

Whether they are created by rats or not. Closing these gaps and holes will prevent the rats from coming in and out of your place. Adult rats will not be able to bring food for the young so they would eventually die. Keep mice out of Brick hole is helpful for walls and ceiling gaps and holes.

3. Prevention is better than cure

Destroy rat nest even before they began. Ultrasonic sound waves are plug and play pest-repelling device. The high-frequency ultrasound is harmful to rats but not on humans so it is completely safe. It can cover your house, garage, and garden. Plus keep your surroundings clean and avoid clutter so you would not attract rats.

4. Install humane mouse trap especially in the garden.

We don’t like to harm other animals also which can visit in your garden. So humane traps are the best option to catch them alive.

5. Call for pest experts.

If you cannot control the rat nest yourself for any reason, the best way is to let professionals do it. This will prevent any accidents or injuries on your part.

Knowledge of what does a rat nest look like is important to keep your home safe from a pest. Check out more of our how to get rid of rats guide here.

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