Choose Animal
Raccoons
Squirrels
Opossum
Armadillos
Rats
Mice
Moles
Groundhog
Skunks
Beaver
Canine
Ferals
Birds
Bats
Snakes
Others
Dead
Rat Control Professionals - Removing Rats from the Attic

Rats in the Attic

The most common critter to enter attics in many areas, including where I work, in Florida, is the rat. Once inside the home and attic, rats and mice cause the following problems:
  • Rats/Mice scratching in the attic
  • Rats/Mice scratching in the walls
  • Rats/Mice leaving droppings everywhere
  • Gnawing on electrical wires
  • Concerns over health risks
For these reasons, many people wish to have these nuisance rodents trapped and removed from the attic. Need help? We service over 500 locations in the United States
 

How Do You Get Rats Out of the Attic? Follow these steps:

FIRST: Inspect your entire house or building, and find all the open holes and gaps that rats are using to get into the structure. This can include vents, eave gaps, roof lines, etc. Check from the ground up, and definitely the entire roof. Once inside, rats can scurry though any part of the architecture, the walls, the ceiling, and get into the attic, where they like to live and nest. Read about how are rats getting in.

SECOND: Seal up all of these entry holes, using steel, which rats can't chew through. I bolt the steel in place. Use a sealant to block off all air flow, and to discourage rats from trying to get inside (they can smell air coming through a gap).

THIRD: Only AFTER everything is sealed should you bother to trap and remove the rats. Set snap traps. They are definitely the best type of trap to use - on the rat runways in the attic. Read more about how to trap a rat here.

FOURTH: Remove the trapped rats until you hear no more sounds in the walls or attic. That's how you know the rats are gone.

FIFTH: Clean up the attic space afterward. Learn more about the process in my attic cleanup page.



There are two main species of rats in the US, the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat. The Roof Rat is more common in warm areas, and more likely to enter the attic. Norway Rats tend to stick to the ground and the sewers and basements, in their stomping grounds up north. House Mice live everywhere, and they also commonly go inside attics. Rats and mice are commensal rodents, which means that they associate themselves with people, not the wild. They are more common in cities than in the country. As such, they most commonly live inside buildings, and since they don't like to be seen, they mostly live in the walls and inside the attic. They are active year-round, and they can breed in very high numbers. Thus, rats in the attic can quickly get out of hand if not properly addressed.

How Do You Get Rats Out of the Attic? - The best tool is education. Here are tips about rats in the attic - how to detect the evidence, and how to solve the problem:

TYPE & TIME OF NOISE: Light scurrying noise at night, anywhere in the attic or walls. Not much else to say. They sometimes sound very fast. If the acoustics are right, they can sound much bigger than they are.

HOW THEY GOT INSIDE:
Rats can climb pretty much any surface. They can get wherever they want to go. They can squeeze through amazingly small holes and gaps. They can get in through the sewer pipes or any possible gap or hole in a home, from the foundation to the tip of the roof. They can also chew. If a rat detects just a small breeze coming from inside, they'll get in.

EVIDENCE LEFT BEHIND:
Rats leave a ton of droppings, sometimes tens of thousands of droppings in an attic - they look like 1/3 inch brown thick grains of rice, very similar to squirrel droppings. They also leave tunnels and trailways in the insulation. They also leave chew marks, and interestingly, they leave brown smudges from grease in their fur, and this lines the commonly travelled rat routes. You might see chew marks, on pipe insulation, wood, or electrical wires.



TIME OF YEAR:
24/7/365. However, rats are especially aggressive about getting inside a warm attic during a cold winter.

METHOD OF CONTROL:
First of all, mothballs or ammonia won't make them leave, nor will ultrasonic sound emitters or strobe lights. These tactics have been ruled fraudulent by the FTC, and they DO NOT WORK. POISON IS A HORRIBLE IDEA FOR MANY MANY REASONS - poison won't solve the problem, and it'll just create more problems. The only way to solve a rat or mouse problem is to find every last point of entry into the house, and seal it shut. Then the rats should be trapped and removed. Snap traps are actually the very best way to do it.

For more info on general rat control, go to my main rat removal page, or my extensive instructional how to get rid of rats page. Again, if you are having trouble doing it yourself, you can give a professional a call off of my directory of expert Rat Removal Companies, and see what they have to say, or schedule a service appointment to get the problem correctly and permanently taken care of.

How To Get Rid Of Rats In The Attic - Rats are one of the most problematic pest animals to deal with for those who have attic spaces, as they can squeeze through holes that are around the size of a quarter, while they are also prodigious breeders. They can successfully mate throughout the year, meaning that if you have rats in the attic, then there is a good possibility that they will have a nest of baby rats that you will need to deal with as well. Because of the diseases they can carry, you should also check up on the equipment that you will need to safely trap the rats without any risk to your health.



Building Inspection and Rat-Proofing
The first and most crucial thing is to inspect the house and find all possible entry holes, and before starting any trapping, carry out repairs and seal the attic so the rats can't get in again. Also, carry out a visual examination of the attic to find the holes they were using to get in and out of the attic. These can be identified by the brown smudges of grease that comes from the rat's fur, and should all be sealed to prevent future rat infestations in the attic.

Should You Use Cage Traps To Catch Rats?
Cage trapping is often considered to be the most humane way of dealing with an animal problem, and certainly when it comes to larger animals it is fair to say that it can be effective. However, rats are a nuisance animal wherever you choose to release them, and they also have a particularly low rate of survival once they have been relocated, so in most cases using humane lethal traps will be the best way to deal with the infestation.

Lethal Trapping
The traditional style snap traps are still among the best ways of dealing with a rat problem, and these are simple to set and bait, and you should look to place them in areas where the rats are active, so where you can see feces and smudges on the walls. There are several other types of lethal traps, including the crocodile trap, which has teeth that close on the rat, and even gas chamber traps. Avoid using poison and glue traps, as these are inhumane and cause more problems than they solve.

Clean Up and Damage Repair
Once you are confident that you have caught all of the rats that are in the attic, then it will be time to check for any insulation or wires in the attic that need to be replaced, and for any nesting material to remove, and feces to clean up. Having completed the repairs to wires, and possibly vacuumed feces or replaced insulation (not usually necessary) fumigate the attic to kill any remaining parasites or spores from the rats.

Customer Email:
Hello David, Thank you for having a web site regarding rats in the attic. Yesterday I learned that a rat was in our attic. We discovered that it chewed it's way in through a roof vent. It seems to be trapped in the attic. It has been trying to work it's way out through the mesh/screening vent under the gutter. We have left some nuts near the attic opening in our garage. We left a tall latter under the attic opening and left the garage side door open. The rat found it's way to this area, ate a few peanuts, but returned to the mesh/screen vent. Today, I asked my husband to open up the screening on the vent that the rat was trying to get out from. He also repaired the area that the squirrel originally chewed to enter into the attic. My husband believes that it was too difficult for the rat to exit in the same way it had entered. Our hopes is that the rat will exit and after not hearing it for a day or two, we can repair the screen vent area. If the rat does not leave, we will learn that it is no longer concerned about being trapped and plans to stay. Our next step is, is to rent a live animal trap. We do believe that most likely, the rat is an expecting mother searching for a place to soon give birth. After reading your web site, we realize that we only have a short amount of time before she will have her babies. Please e-mail me your advice, opinion, and recommendation. Thank you, Sincerely, Renee

Renee - That's certainly a lot of monitoring and concern for a rat! I've never seen the like. The truth is that where there's one rat, there's usually several. It's quite possible that you have more than one rat on your hands. I'm surprised that you saw it, since it's very rare for people to spot these elusive and nocturnal creatures. Usually if you see one, there's ten you don't see. I can come to your house and perform a full inspection, and find out exactly what you've got going on, and take care of the problem for you, if you wish.

© 2002-2016 Wildlife-Removal.com - site content, photos, & maintenance by Wildlife Removal Animal Control, all rights reserved.
Wildlife Directory    Contact Web Site Manager: info@wildlife-removal.com      Residential & Commercial      Licensed & Insured