How should I look for rat entry holes in a house?

When we inspect a house for rat entry holes, we perform a 32-point inspection process that covers the entire interior and exterior of your home. If you are performing this examination yourself, we would highly recommend that you do it twice - once during natural daylight hours, and once again during the night, using a head torch to spot those damage-spots you didn't see earlier on. You are also likely to capture different animals during the two times. Bats, for example, tend to be more active around dusk and dawn, and rats are generally more active at night too. In fact, although many wild animals you'll encounter will be active during the daytime, a lot of them prefer a nocturnal hunt. They're less likely to come up against humans for a start.

In order to identify problem areas, you'll need to have a little understand of the rodent itself. They might seem like quite large creatures, but rats only need a hole the size of a quarter to be able to gain access to your home. Now that you know that, take a peek outside. How many holes can you spot that's about the size of a quarter? That's how many ways a rat could get inside your home. Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough already, they also have the sharpest claws and constantly-growing teeth that will make a small hole a much larger one in almost no time at all.

There are certain hotspots when it comes to rats - areas that they tend to afflict the most. These are the areas you should most definitely make sure you're checking, and include the following:

Spaces / gaps around pipework going in / coming out of your home
Around windows and doors
Brick joins - where the chimney meets the walls, for example
Paneling and siding of your house
Where the walls meet the roof
The roof itself (tile roofs are often the worst afflicted)
Under porches
Vents - these are often the worst culprits
Along the lines of your roof
Cable entry points

Essentially, any hole that you spot that you can fit your thumb through - it's going to become a prime target for these rats to get in.

You're going to need a ladder. You'll also need a person to stand at the ladder and make sure you're safe. Above anything else, regardless of how annoyed this rat makes you, keep yourself safe. What's the point in throwing yourself off a roof accidentally for a rat? If you have a safety harness, wear it. If you don't have a safety harness, we'd probably recommend that you buy one. You're going to need to perform relatively regular inspections of your home now anyway. Well, at least a couple of times per year. Home maintenance is the only way that you can ensure these rats don't get back in again. Yu need to spot any damage early on, and then get a head start on fixing it BEFORE any wild animal gets any stupid ideas about inviting itself in.

Make a note of any damaged areas you see, or call them out to someone on ground level to write down for you. Make sure you do though - you'll only forget a patch if you don't, and that means you'll be right back to square one. The rats still have an entry point, and you need to go through the entire saga once again. Get this job done right the first time and you'll thank yourself for it.

When you are repairing the damage you come across, make sure you do so with materials that the rat can't chew or tear through. For the record, these are creatures that can actually chew through brick and cinder blocks, but if you are repairing holes or vents, etc. use materials such as aluminum flashing or steel mesh wire. That, combined with a polyurethane based sealant will do the trick. The sealant works to block off the flow of air through a space, and that's what attracts the rats to start digging in the first place.

Finding those holes that rats are using to get in won't be an easy task. In fact, it will be long and arduous, but it is essential. If you don't seal those holes, the rats will keep breaking in, and the traps you are placing down will be in constant use. First, deal with the holes. Then you can deal with the traps.

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.

It is absolutely frustrating to find out that your beautiful home is infested with rats. However, do not panic! This is a common problem and there are many ways for you to get rid of it. One of the best strategies you can do at the onset is to patch up entry holes. In this article, you will learn about the effective ways to find these openings and how to repair them.

  1. Read up on the behavior of rats.

This tip must sound very geeky and boring to you but it is the same as what you are doing right now - do your research. By getting more information about the type of rat that you are dealing with, you can get specific clues on how you can better locate the cracks and gaps that they use as entry points to your home. 

  1. Know the architectural design of your home.

It is important to know the design of your home to identify hidden holes or openings that can serve as entry points for rats. Some openings can be obvious like vents, wall holes, and chimneys while some can be tricky to spot. You may have damaged walls that you are unaware of. Take a closer look at your house’s blueprint and identify possible rat entry points. 

  1. Look for chew marks and shavings.

These rodents chew on almost everything. If you see scratch marks or tooth marks on the surface of any wooden or light material, there is a good chance that there are wall cracks or holes nearby. 

Keep in mind that this is a game of patience and thoroughness. The only way you can successfully get rid of rats in your property is to patch up the holes that they use as entry points. 

  1. Look for urine and rat droppings.

Rat droppings are notably more pointed compared to other rodent droppings. It can measure to about ⅛ inch long. Rat urine has a pungent smell and can leave stains on wooden cases like cabinets, doors, baseboards, and windows. Once you spot these rat wastes, check for holes in walls, windows, and the roof.

  1. Listen to rat noises.

Up your detective game by taking advantage of the night to observe the movement of rats in your home. Listen for squeaks, chirping, and scratching sounds. The best-case scenario is for you to catch them in the act of passing through an entry point. This way, you can patch it up right away and prevent them from coming back. 

  1. Check for trails and rat tracks.

Rats have poor eyesight so they are highly dependent on routes that they create to guide them in and out of their nest. Look for tracks and follow the trail. It should lead you to some type of hole or opening that they use as an entry point.

  1. Search for any small dugouts.

Widen your search by also looking into entryways, foundations, and corners. These are favorite spots for rats. They like hanging out in dark and unsanitary parts of the house so be prepared to get your hands dirty. Use gloves and masks and protect yourself from all possible contact with rats.