On the interior of a structure, rats will live in any harborage available. They will select anything from a wall or ceiling void to attics, crawlspaces, and even furniture in frequent use such as couches, beds and chairs. Their chosen nesting location will be warm, well concealed, and typically within 25-100 feet of their food and water sources.
Rats are crypto-zootic, avoiding humans whenever possible. Evidence of their presence will include the presence of nesting materials, damaged possessions nesting materials were pulled from, food hoards, disturbed insulation, rub marks, noises in your attic or walls and designated latrine sites.
The latrines are a sure indication that you have rats and not mice, as mice leave waste along their travel paths while rats will return to a specific location again and again to defecate. This build up of rat droppings can bring danger to homeowners. Additionally, noise emanating from your attic or walls can sometimes be an indicator of their presence.
Understanding the biology of rats is helpful in knowing what you are looking for, and where to look for it. If rats gain entry into your home, they could end up causing a lot of damage. We highly recommend you read our Biology of Norway Rats page to better understand this species and it’s behaviors before walking your property to inspect.