How Are Rats Getting In?

Having rats in your home is not only a health and safety hazard, but it can also be pretty embarassing for most people. The problem is that rats aren't just attracted to dirty spaces or places in poor repair. Rats will live just about anywhere that they can get in, and their reasons for seeking shelter in a human domecile aren't always for food. Rats will look for a human home to enter if there is extreme weather, like hurricanes, tornadoes, or blizzards. Rats and rodents will also enter your home during regular rain, snow, or simply because it is very hot or very cold outside. Part of determining how rats are getting into your house is understanding why they do, as well.

Image of rat damage to pipes
Rats damage pipes easily

How Are Rats Getting Into the Basement?

Lets start on the lowest floor of the home: the basement. Rats on the ground level outside of your home are most likely the ones that are entering your basement. You should perform a through inspection of the outside of your home once you discover rats in the basement. They are most likely exploiting a feature or vulnerability of your home, such as a basement vent in poor repair, or with slats or mesh that has too wide of spacing. Maybe you left a basement window open? Check for signs of damage like cracked stucco, damaged basement window screening, or loose vinyl siding.

Why Are There Rats in my Living Space?

Rats will most likely work their way up from the basement to where the food is throughout the day, or throughout their stay in your home. However, rats can also find their way into your living space in the same manner that they have entered your basement. Again, do a visual inspection of the exterior of your home. Monitor windows and doors to make sure you and other family members aren't leaving them open or unattended. Check window screening for damage, and make sure you don't leave your basement entrance open.

Image of rat damage
Rats damage stucco around chimneys easily

Why Are There Rats in my Attic?

Don't panic. Rats in the attic are common when you have a rat infestation, but they can be controlled properly by an animal removal or wildlife services expert. Rats will be using similar techniques to enter the attic as they do basements and living spaces. They will look for pre-existing damage and add to it. Damaged fascia board, displaced soffit, and holes in the roof materials themselves are prime targets for these small resourceful creatures. Make sure your roof is in excellent repair to prevent the infestation of rats and other rodents.

Further Reading