How Do Rats Get in the Attic? {Never Use Rat Poison In The Attic}

Snap. Pitter-patter and scurrying sounds are coming from the attic. You might hear squeals as well. How do rats get in the attic?

Please read through our carefully crafted sections in this article today to find what you should do when there are rats in the attic. We’ll find out why we should never use rat poison in the attic as well.

In this article, we will discover how rats get into attics and how long they can live there. Will they chew through ceilings as well? Stick around and let’s get a better understanding of how to get rid of rats in the attic.

How Do Rats Get in the Attic?

Rats get into the attic through openings in vents, climbing up vines, shrubs or objects leaning against your home. They are excellent climbers. Rats will find a way through damaged eaves and entryways the size of a quarter.

They can flatten their chests and squeeze under the thinnest gaps. The most common way rats get into homes is through cavity walls. They can climb through the interior of walls, plumbing systems and find their way to a safe spot in your attic where people rarely frequent.

How Would a Rat Get In My Attic?

Rats can make their into your attic from many possible locations including:

  • The garage
  • An open door
  • Window
  • Pipes
  • Shrubbery
  • Damage eaves
  • Holes
  • Unsealed gaps
  • Burrowing under foundations

Now you have rats in the attic and possibly in other locations.

What I hate the most about this is not the noise. It’s the fact that they can store food in many locations in your attic or cavity walls. This can lead to rotting or decaying food that can attract bugs of bacteria as well. What a mess!

What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Rats in the Attic?

Traps are the best way to get rid of rats in the attic. Never use rat poison. The biggest problem would be a dead rat decaying and releasing a foul odor that could remain in the attic for several months.

You can also attract bacteria and insects. Other rats can be drawn in to inspect the dead rat and may wish to move it or eat it to protect their nest from being discovered by larger predators.

  • Snap traps
  • Traps in boxes or milk crates
  • Catch and release trap mechanisms
  • One-way exclusion doors

These four examples are your best bets of making sure you can get rats out of your attic before the problem gets worse.

How Do I Keep Rats Out of My Attic?

Keeping rats out of the attic involves sealing all entries. How did they get there?

  • Make sure the roof is not allowing them in.
  • There should be no holes or gaps.
  • The size of a quarter is all it takes for a gap that a rat can fit through.
  • Look in the interior of eaves.
  • Check the vents and plenty of other utility penetrations through boxes or pipes.
  • Place deterrents such as ultrasonic noise devices that operate at high frequencies disturbing rats’ sense of hearing but not ours.
  • Place peppermint oil and mothballs in the attic as well.
  • Make it inhospitable by eliminating clutter and junk.
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What Do Rats Sound Like in the Attic?

Rats can make all sorts of noises in your attic. How can you be sure that the sounds you hear are coming from rats and not raccoons or other pests? Rats make noises like:

  • Scratching
  • Gnawing
  • Crawling
  • Chewing
  • Squealing
  • Pitter-pattering
  • Chirping
  • Squeaking
  • Scurrying

Unfortunately, rats make noises at higher pitched sounds to communicate that we do not hear. We can counteract that with ultrasonic noise repellents that operate at higher frequencies that interfere with rats’ hearing and communication.

Knowing that there are rats in your attic is usually done by smelling the ammonia scents from their urine, seeing droppings or witnessing track marks on your ceiling.

Do Rats Stay in the Attic During the Day?

Rats would like to use your attic and the entryway into it to seek shelter overnight. They can build their nests there, but they may need to venture out for food during the day.

They will stir things up in the attic, leave droppings and rummage for food sources. They can find food and bring it back.

If they are more than successful, they can begin storing food caches around the attic which makes things much worse. Rotting food in the attic invites plenty of other bacteria or insects as well.

What Do Rats Eat in the Attic?

If you are certain that there are no food sources in the attic, then a rat will have to go out and find some.

They can bring seeds, nuts, garbage and plenty of other foraged food options into the attic. They can store them for months or years as they survive in a shelter that is safe, lacks any threats and gives them warmth.

Should I Put Rat Poison in My Attic?

You should never use rat poison to kill rats in the attic. Rats die quickly and rot. The smell from a dead rat that goes undiscovered in an attic will create a heap of problems for you. It will linger for weeks for months.

You will not be able to get the smell out of your stored items up there. Finding the dead body and getting rid of it involves health hazards as well. Fleas and ticks may survive off the rat and move on.

Other rats may show to eat the body and they could die and rot. Larger predators may find their way in as well. Stick to bait traps and catch and release systems to get rid of the rats rather than letting them rot in your attic.

Can You Get Sick From Rats in Your Attic?

Yes. The urine and dropping from rats alone can make you sick. The hantavirus contained in many rats can stir up in the air from dust off their dried feces. Never touch any of these with your bare hands and wear a mask.

Look at videos of pest removal companies and see how they are dressed in full suits. Do not take this matter lightly . Your eyes, nose and mouth easily absorb viruses and you can even get fleas, ticks or a bite from a rat.

Can Rats Chew Through the Ceiling?

Yes. Rats can chew through many surfaces. Ceilings are made up of drywall and concrete that rats can chew through when motivated. They have hard teeth that constantly grow.

Chewing or gnawing is an exercise for a rat. If they realize there is food on the other side, they will not give up until they have made an opening.

Where Should I Put a Rat Trap in My Attic?

The best trap to set in the attic is a one-way exclusion door. A professional expert may use this method as the safest and most humane way of getting rid of rats. They can temporarily make this exclusion exit that leads rats out of your home, but there will be no way for them to return.

Any cage or bait trap involves a person returning to the area and picking up rats who are fearful or actively trying to bite to get out. Dead rats in poisoned bait traps or snap traps will release foul odors, fleas, ticks or the dreaded hantavirus from their feces or decomposing body.

How Long Can a Rat Survive in an Attic?

Rats can survive in attics for the length of their entire life. This could amount to 2-5 years. In most cases, rats with ample supply of food and water in undisturbed attics can live for 2-3 years.

In many cases, they will be discovered or they will run out of food. The problem is that with homes that allow rats in the attics through openings allow for them to forage for food and return with plenty of stored caches to survive season after season.

Do Rats Pee in the Attic?

If you are seeing brown stains on your ceiling or when you go up to the attic and see slimy stains on the floor, you are witnessing the urine and feces of rats or other rodents.

The strong, musky ammonia-like smells is a mix of the urea, water, bacteria and filth that excretes from the bodies of rats. The smell is a dead giveaway that you have a rat problem in your attic or elsewhere.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Attic

  • Keep your garbage bins away from the walls of your home. Make sure they are sealed well.
  • Trees and branches should be pruned and not lead to your roof.
  • Keep the surrounding yard clean and clear.
  • Listen and smell for rat noises or ammonia like musky urine odors.
  • Look for droppings.
  • Close all gaps the size of a quarter.
  • Seal or close vents, rooflines and repair damaged eaves.
  • Used steel mesh to prevent rats chewing through openings or screens.
  • Once they enter, do not kill them with poison.
  • A one-way excluder trap leads them out, but doesn’t allow them back in.
  • Deter them with ultrasonic noise repellents, mothballs or peppermint oil.
  • Keep the house clean and clear of clutter.

Good luck to you and we hope you get these pests out for good.


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