Do Rats Burrow Under Foundations? {How You Can Tell}

Do you see holes in the ground near the foundations of your home? Do Rats Burrow Under Foundations?

Could it be another rodent? How can you be sure that this is a rat? How do you stop rats from burrowing? A destroyed or uneven foundation can create a world of problems for you. Could a small rat be the cause of this potential mess?

In this article, we will find out, “Do rats burrow under foundations?”

Do Rats Burrow Under Foundations?

Yes. Grease marks and droppings that look like dark colored grains of rice may give it away that rats have burrowed under the foundations of your home.

Rats can dig under cement slabs, under rocks and create shelter or tunnel systems into your home. They can shift the foundation of the home. If left untreated, thousands of dollars of damage can occur.

Look carefully around the foundation of your home for possible burrows and deal with them immediately. Filling the burrows with the help of a pro or using smoke, steel wool and stomping the covered hole with a shovel are important methods to eliminate rat burrows.

How Do I Get Rid of Rats Under My Foundation?

Now that we know that rats can indeed burrow under the foundation of our homes, what can we do about it? We can be diligent and start looking for signs of activity.

  1. Look for grease tracks, footpaths, runways and rat droppings near the area.
  2. Find the main entryways and locate possible exits as well. Find all the holes.
  3. Fill them with steel wool, soil and dirt.
  4. Stomp the hole down and tamp it with a shovel. 

If the holes continue, you will need a professional pest removal service to assess the extent of your rat infestation. This could be a bigger problem than burrows.

They could be in your cavity walls and building nests or filling food caches where rotting food is being stored in between the walls.

Do Rats Burrow?

Yes. Rats and plenty of other rodents burrow around our homes and we must deter them from it. Can rats burrow under concrete? Yes. This is awful to know that they can burrow under driveways and even worse, underneath the foundation of our homes.

This will lead to thousands of dollars of damage. The burrows can lead into our homes or become the location of nests and food storage. A rat can typically burrow 18 inches underground, but there are cases of these creatures burrowing 4-5 feet deep.

Rats can fit into an opening the size of a quarter and make their way under or through foundations until they reach plumbing, pipes, crawl spaces and cavity walls.

Can Rats Damage Foundations?

Yes. The damage reports from rats getting under foundations and causing them to shift turns out to be one of worst things they can do to our properties. Rats can infect us, make us sick and create many health concerns for our family and pets.

In this case, we are talking about our physical house and seeing that rats are able to burrow under the foundations is a frightening thought. There can be cracks in the foundation and flooding a rat burrow is out of the question. We can create even more damage to the affected foundations this way.

We will need to cover the burrows by stuffing them with steel wool and filling them back up with soil. You can sprinkle crushed pepper on top of the holes to prevent rats from coming back to the same area. If you suspect the damage to be worse, you should get a consultation from a professional to assess the situation.

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How Do Rats Get Into the Foundation?

Rats are craft, intelligent, slinky, sleek and nimble. They can squeeze into the tightest spaces by flattening their rib cages. They can chew through incredibly strong materials that we thought would not be possible.

Give a rat motivation and time and it can slowly chew through concrete that has cracks or not properly cured. Foundation cracks can offer enough spaces for a rat to squeeze through. If not, they may dig deeper underneath the foundation.

Rat burrows range from 12-18 inches on average, but can go as deep as 4-5 feet in some cases. That’s enough for a motivated rat who suspects there is warmth and food available on the other side to keep digging and squeezing through.

Should I Block up a Rat Hole?

Yes. You should notice the holes around your property and act on it. If you see grease parks, runways that rats have made to and from the hole and rat droppings, you can be sure that the hole is active with rats.

They like to clear the space of vegetation and pick out weeds to make their way in and out easier. It’s time to think about this carefully.

  1. Are rats already in the home?
  2. Did they use the holes to gain access?
  3. Are these holes far enough from the foundation of the home to ensure that they are only around the periphery of your property.?

If you can begin by stuffing the hole with steel wool (wear gloves!) and fill the hole with soil and stomp or tamp it with a shovel, you can wait and see what happens next.

Do you see more holes? It’s time to call a professional pest control company to help figure out how many burrows there are and what implications there are to the safety and security of your property.

Can Rats Dig Through Cement?

Rats should not be able to dig through properly cured cement.

  • Concrete or cement foundations are usually 90cm-1.8 meters deep.
  • The sides should be sheared to foil burrowing rats.
  • The depth should be deep enough to deter rats from bypassing.

Rats digging through cement is extremely rare. The cement must have cracks in it. Rats can easily dig around the cement if they are motivated with the potential for food and shelter on the other side.

What Is Digging Holes Around My Foundation?

Most of the time, the diggers in question are rodents. They are well known for relentless digging around properties, but it gets much worse when they pick the foundations of our home to create burrows. The entire foundation could shift or slip.

The digging animals responsible are usually the following:

  • moles
  • raccoons
  • voles
  • opossums
  • mice
  • skunks
  • rats
  • groundhogs
  • rats
  • foxes
  • gophers
  • rabbits
  • armadillos
  • chipmunks
  • prairie dogs

Look for evidence around the holes. If you see grease marks, droppings that look like dark grains of rice, then you probably have a rat as the culprit.

How Do I Get Rid of Rats Under My Concrete Slab?

The concrete slab in question is probably your foundation or under the driveway and porch. Rats can find their way underneath and stay there as a perfect nesting spot.

They can fill the area with food caches or they can keep burrowing until they find an entry into your home. Here are some tips to stop rats from from entering under concrete slabs:

  • Keep the area free of clutter.
  • Trim shrubbery and get rid of dense vegetation.
  • Take away any food sources like garbage bins.
  • Close any open burrows you see with steel wool.
  • Repair the damaged or cracked concrete.
  • Call for a professional to assist you.

You have many options available to you, but you must determine the extent of seriousness or not take any chances. If you act soon, you could save yourself much more time, hassle and money from needing to repair the foundation, driveway or porch.

How do Rodents Damage Concrete?

Rodents such as rats can mess with the soil settlement around foundations and concrete slabs. They can be a factor that leads to erosion or drainage problems. Soil displacement or chewed concrete may occur.

Rats or other rodents can slip through cracks in concrete and make their way deeper into the home. They are highly motivated to avoid predators or seek food and shelter.

The structural integrity of the concrete is now in question and might need to be assessed. With voids around the concrete, it can sink. This is dangerous and expensive to deal with. Spot rodent burrows around the foundation of your home where concrete slabs are vital to your property.

How to Repair Concrete Damage Caused by Rodents

A company will have to come to raise the affected concrete. Mud-jacking is one method to repair damaged concrete. The voids around the concrete must also be filled. It gets expensive.

It’s crazy to think that a family of rats for example, could have caused this. The skill and requirements needed for such a task makes it inevitable that you will have to use some money you had set aside for renovations or other expenses to deal with this issue.

We hope these rodents stay away from your home after this and find somewhere else to dwell.


Thanks for visiting for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.

Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable