What Attracts Rats to Your House? {Top 6 Master List}

It seems like no one I know is dealing with a rat problem, except me. What Attracts Rats to Your House?

Rats love my yard and I’m figuring out the reasons why. It’s time to share them with you so we can repel, deter and eliminate our rat problems once and for all. How do you keep rats out of your house?

In this article, I wish to put down experience and research to the test and shine a light on what attracts rats to your house.

What Attracts Rats to Your House?

Rats are mainly attracted to the offer of food sources and available shelter. A property that is cluttered, contains dense vegetation, waste and access into the home are open invitations for rats. Rats become a problems when we offer:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Plants
  • Nesting Materials

It’s time to seal up entryways and containers. We have to remove clutter and debris around our homes as well. Adding deterrents like repellent odors and noise devices can also assist to steer rats elsewhere and stay away from our homes.

Top 6 Reasons Why Your Home Is Attractive to Rats

Why do rats like your house? What attracts rats to your garden? Why do I have rats in my house?

I searched and gave up frustrated. Then I got up and did something about it. I realized that 11% of American homes in 2015 reported signs of rats in their home. I was not alone.

Here are 6 reasons why rats were invited to my home:

  1. Food was available.
  2. It was a warm shelter with available entryways.
  3. I kept my garbage out.
  4. Water sources unknown to me were available.
  5. My garden was ripe with nesting materials.
  6. I had too much clutter.

1. Food

Rats are able to ingest almost anything as opportunistic omnivores. They will stir up the yard and find food that we didn’t even know was there.

Leftovers, crumbs, unsealed containers, pet bowls and any debris that weren’t cleaned up turned out to contain some morsels of food.

Not only that, but rats found that they could store food in cracks, crevices and cavity walls. They created food caches that rotted and decayed in the walls. It was a nightmare.

2. Warmth and Shelter

There was access into the home through the foundations. They burrowed underneath it. There were shrubs and tree branches that rats climbed to reach the eaves on the roof of the house.

They found their way through vents or scurried up pipes. Cavity walls with openings the size of quarter was all it took for rats to squeeze theory way through.

Rats need to find shelter to care for a new colony or family. They will build a nest and become attached to this location. The longer they remain unnoticed, the stronger their connection will be to this house.

3. Garbage

We have bins provided by the city. We leave them out. Big mistake. Rats found a way through. Rats can seemingly lift lids that aren’t weighed down.

We started to put a slab of concrete on top of the lid to prevent rats or even racoons from entering. We put the garbage bins in the garage and shut the door. This helped a lot.

4. Water Sources

I didn’t realize that rats can absorb enough water that they need through condensation off pipes. They were also finding rotting fruits in the garden to pull enough liquid hydration from it.

Rats realized they could climb the birdfeeder where there was a bowl of water. They were crafty and had plenty of water sources.

5. Gardens & Vegetation

Rats can use our gardens as their own supermarket. They can forage for seeds, grains, weeds and other shrubbery to find food or nesting materials.

They also love to dig under dense vegetation to create safe burrows for tunnel access under the ground to either store food, nest there to gain entry into the home.

6. Clutter

Although this is my final reason in the list of why I had invited rats to my home, it is the most common for all of us. If we have areas of clutter and stuff we do not regularly move or use, rats can take over.

They see the opportunity to nest under or behind areas that we have created as hiding spaces that are warm, dark and secure. If we do not minimalize and get rid of junk, rats can take up residence there.

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3 Ways to Keep Rats Out Of Homes

The top 3 ways to make sure rats are not allowed in your home include:

  1. Sealing entryways.
  2. Storing away food and keeping the home clear of debris.
  3. Bait traps and repellents.

1. Entry Points

Rats are intelligent, agile, able to dig and climb in excellent fashion. If they find a hole the size of a quarter, they can squeeze through.

They can flatten their rib cages and gain entry under doors or through multiple areas such as vents, damaged eaves and many more.

Sealing holes or covering entryways with steel mesh wiring works really well. Caulking, weather stripping and using excluder door stoppers also work well.

2. Storing and Cleaning

There should be no way a rat could find food in your house. We all make mistakes and spill food. Crumbs fall out.

This is what I do: I keep a spray bottle in the kitchen with vinegar and 3-4 drops of dish soap. I spray areas that I think I may have left crumbs behind. The vinegar acts as a repellent.

You can try peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil as well. You can sprinkle cayenne pepper. Most of all, you need to make sure containers are all sealed with thick and secure lids. The home needs to be clutter free and clean.

3. Bait traps and Repellents

This goes without saying, but we need to catch these rats and get them out of here. A professional is going to prove their worth because they will not stop until they have located the possible nest and found food storage caches that rats have left behind.

Finding one rat is the beginning of the problem, There are more issues. Rodent traps come in many varieties. Repellents include scents like ammonia which mimic the urine of predators or noise devices that operate on high frequencies that irritate the hearing of rats causing them to leave the area.

How Do You Keep Rats Away From Your House?

Let’s keep these rats away now. We have spotted the problem and cleaned up the area. We are trying to maintain a repelling spot that rats will hate.

The more they stay away, the happier and comfortable we will be. Here are some more tips to keep rats away from your house:

  1. Fill all holes, cracks, gaps and seal them. Add steel mesh screens or wiring.
  2. Don’t allow for food sources in or out of your home including pet bowls or crumbs.
  3. Remove cluttered areas.
  4. Trim and prune shrubs, tree branches and keep them away from the exterior walls of your home.
  5. Set up bait traps.
  6. Use ultrasonic noise repellents.
  7. Keep a bowl of ammonia lying around or use ammonia spray mixed with water to mimic predator urine around the exterior of your home.
  8. Ask neighbors if they see rats and share your information with each other.
  9. Call for a professional inspection team to locate nests or food storage caches in your walls. Get them to set up traps.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Where Do Rats Hide in a House?

Rats like to hide in:

  • Attics
  • Crawl spaces
  • Behind appliances
  • Underneath clutter
  • In closets
  • Basements
  • Cavity walls

Rats also hide in burrows in your garden or yard. They like dark areas and moisture also attracts them. Sewers, pipes, plumbing and drains are all areas where rats hide.

2. How Can You Tell How Many Rats Are in Your House?

Look for rat droppings. They are small, brown and shaped like grains of rice. The smaller the rice looking pieces, the more likely it is that you have a mouse infestation.

Longer rice grains resemble the feces of rats. Look for grease marks along baseboards and walls. The more droppings, the more rats you may have.

3. What Will Scare Rats Away?

Scare rats away with foul smells that they hate or noise repellents such as ultrasonic devices that operate at frequencies that we cannot hear, but they can. User these odors if you wish to repel rats:

  • peppermint oil
  • cayenne pepper
  • cloves
  • crushed pepper
  • ammonia (outdoors only)

4. Signs of rats and mice in your house

You may finally realize that rats are in your home when you notice the following sings:

  • Ammonia or acidic smell. It’s probably rat urine.
  • Gnawing sounds. They keep gnawing on items to keep their teeth from growing too much and you may chewed up furniture
  • Droppings
  • Grease marks

Rats are dirty. They drop feces everywhere they go. They are also greasy with bumping and rubbing against the worst things you can think of. They leave marks as they travel through the night when they bump and feel their surroundings in the darkness.


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