Common Locations Rats typically nest in urban or suburban areas if access to food, water, and shelter can be acquired. Common species like Norway and roof rats make their way into residences, warehouses, sewers, barns, and stores by living in close proximity to people. Preferring to eat around homes, businesses, and restaurants, the small pests often enter through cracks and holes in the walls and foundations. Other avenues, such as open doors and windows, floor drains, fan openings, and previously infested packages of merchandise, also allow the critters to set up permanent residence indoors. Construction of Rat Nests Rat nests are usually constructed of manmade debris, twigs, cotton, and plant materials, and can be found in dark, enclosed areas like crawlspaces, between walls, in attics, under porches, or in boxed-in plumbing. In outdoor areas surrounding homes, things such as debris piles, yard water, old furniture, ponds, trees, and garbage dumps are inviting to rats, as well. Signs of Nesting Rats The presence of rats can easily be detected once home and business owners recognize the signs to look for. Perhaps the most obvious, rat droppings as large as 3/4 inch to 1/4 inch may be located in feeding areas, around nests, and along runways. Similarly, urine spots often appear in passage ways and may be discovered with the use of ultraviolet light. Rat infestations can further be recognized by footprints and tail marks in dusty areas, smudge marks along walls, and visible gnawing on corners, ledges, and doors. By carefully listening in the evening hours, people suspecting the presence of nesting rats may hearscurrying, clawing, and squeaking sounds, or even gnawing, if quiet enough. Visual sightings of the small creatures serve as prime indicators, as well. Prevention & Removal Through exclusion and proper prevention, homeowners can eliminate troublesome rats from building nests inside and around homes. Inadequately sealed garages and poor sanitation practices foster ideal conditions for these pesky critters. Appropriate handling of food materials and waste helps deter rats from nesting. People concerned about rat infestations should attempt to rat-proof their homes. To begin, openings of 1/4 inch or larger should be tightly sealed, floor drains should be covered with grates, window screens must fit firmly, and food products should be stored in metal cans with correctly tailored lids. To eradicate already established invasions, homeowners may utilize traps, poison baits, electronic devices, and cats or dogs to stave off advancements of rodent populations. However, the use of such tactics may not entirely eliminate infestations. Concerned residents should contact the professional pest removal experts at Critter Control to take care of any rat issues before they get out of hand.