The chances are that if you see a rat nest for the first time, you’ll likely learn to stay away from it. Rats are filthy creatures, and their nests are full of garbage and, thus, unhygienic.
But what does a rat nest look like? If you have rats in your home or business, knowing where they’re building their nests will help you establish their whereabouts to help you get rid of rats.
What Does a Rat Nest Look Like?
Rats are creatures of habit and will often use the same materials to build their nests. Typically, a rat nest consists of twigs, leaves, grass, paper, and other soft materials. Rats will line the nest with whatever material they can find to make it cozy.
Rats build their nests in all sorts of places. Since they’re not fussy, they’ll nest in the attic, under the porch, in the crawlspace, or even in your walls. Wherever they can find a dark, quiet spot to build their nest is good enough for them.
Different Rats, Different Nests
Not all rats build the same type of nest. You should be aware of three types of rats: the Pack Rat, the Roof Rat, and the Norway Rat. But what does a rat nest look like for the different types?
What Does a Pack Rat Nest Look Like?
Pack Rats are the least common type of rat. They’re also known as Trade Rats because they always look for things to return to their nests. Pack Rats have very messy nests and can be full of all sorts of things like old food, clothes, paper, and even trash. Sometimes, Pack Rats will even build their nests out of waste.
However, these creatures are not picky and will use whatever they can find to make their nests. That’s why sometimes, if you have a Pack Rat nearby, you might notice that some of your things are missing, such as shoelaces, soap, gum wrappers, or even small pieces of jewelry.
What About Roof Rat Nests? What Do They Look Like?
Roof Rats are the most common type of rat in the United States. They get their name because they often build their nests on roofs. So what does a Roof Rat nest look like?
Roof Rat nests look like a big ball of twigs with other materials. These nests are unique because they often have a hole in their center where the Roof Rat will enter and exit the nest.
Roof Rat nests usually consist of soft materials like leaves, twigs, and grass. You might not see roof rat nests if you’re not looking, but that’s why it’s essential to regularly clean your beams, gutters, and eaves so that you don’t have roof rat stowaways.
And Norway Rat Nests? Are They Different?
Norway Rats are the biggest and peskiest type of rat. They often hunt other rats for food. They’re also known as Sewer Rats because they often live in sewers and other dirty places and won’t climb to high areas like roofs.
Norway Rat nests are different from roof rat nests in that they usually contain hard materials like bricks, stones, and wood. In addition, Norway Rats will sometimes line their nests with soft materials like cloth or paper.
You might not see Norway Rat nests because they’re often built deep inside buildings, such as in the attic or crawlspace. But if you do see one, it will likely be a giant, messy nest made of various materials.
Where Do Rats Build Their Nests?
Rats will build their nests just about anywhere. They’re not picky. But there are some places that rats seem to prefer.
- In attics
- Under porches and decks
- In crawl spaces
- In walls
- In sheds
- In trees
- On roofs
Interestingly, all these places have a few things in common, making them ideal for rat nests. They’re all dark, quiet, and protected from the elements. In addition, all of these places are usually close to food sources which are essential for rats.
That’s because rats are always looking for a place to build their nests and store food to have a safe place to live and eat.
Other Signs of a Rat Infestation?
In addition to knowing where you’re most likely to find a rat nest, it’s also vital to know the other signs of a rat infestation. These include:
- Droppings: Rats will often leave droppings as they go about their business. These droppings will be dark and cylindrical and usually have a pointed end. You might also find droppings near food sources, which can be a public health issue.
- Gnaw marks: If you see any evidence of gnaw marks, it’s a good indication that you have rats. It might appear on wires, pipes, wood, or other materials.
- Burrows: Rats often build burrows where they can hide from predators and store food. So if you see any holes in the ground larger than a quarter-inch, there’s a good chance rats are living there.
- Smudge marks: Rats will often leave smudge marks along the walls where they travel. That’s because they’re constantly rubbing their fur against the walls to keep it clean.
- Noise: Rodents make a lot of noise as they go about their business. If you frequently hear scratching, gnawing, or scampering noises in your home or business, there’s a good chance you have rats hanging out.
How to Deal with and Prevent Rodent Nests
If you find a rat nest in your home or business, it’s crucial to take action right away. Rats can cause all sorts of damage, and they can also spread disease.
The best way to deal with a rat nest is to call a professional pest control company. They will be able to safely remove the rats from your property and prevent them from coming back.
In addition to professional pest control, you can do a few things to help prevent rats from nesting in your home or business. These include:
- Sealing up any cracks or holes in your property
- Keeping your property clean and free of debris
- Putting away food when you’re not using it
- Storing trash in sealed containers
If you follow these tips, you can help keep rats away from your home or business.