How Do Norway Rats Get in the Attic?

While the roof rat may be more common in the top floors of buildings, it's also possible to see Norway rats in attic spaces. These rodents enter homes easily through broken or missing vent screens, cracks, or small holes. A common sign of their presence is gnawing or scratching sounds coming from above.

Attic Behavior

Once inside, Norway rats leave behind copious amounts of droppings and build nests by tearing up paper, boxes, and stored clothes. In addition to providing nesting materials and plenty of hiding places, attics often give rodents access to wall voids and vents, making them the ideal gateway to the rest of the house.

Damage and Dangers

Typical Norway rat behavior leads to damage in the home. Attics are particularly susceptible to the pests' burrowing, which wreaks havoc on insulated structures. Gnawing is another destructive habit. Chewed wires can cause dangerous electrical shorts, while damaged walls, doors, and windows may let in moisture and drafts.

Droppings and Disease

The feces and urine left behind by a Norway rat in an attic could spread harmful diseases. These include Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, leptospirosis, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, and rat bite fever. Because the attic is typically such a confined space, it is dangerously easy to inhale infected particles of waste when dusting or cleaning.


Homeowners can use exclusion methods to keep Norway rats out of the attic:

  • Repair screens in air vents and damaged ventilation
  • Cover the crawl space with a door that fits tightly
  • Block gaps in the roof, cap chimneys, and seal entry points for pipes and electrical lines
  • Close all other access points larger than one-fourth of an inch
  • Use caulking, wire mesh, heavy cloth, copper screening and other materials as appropriate

Get them out.
Keep them out.®

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Customer Reviews

Kirk D.
It has been very effective at reducing the number of mice, lizard, and snake sightings. During one visit Edgar removed a rattlesnake he came across. We may see a snake maybe two to three times during the spring and summer months, but it has been far less than before.

Serivces: Wildlife & Rodent Control in San Diego
Robert B.
Full service. Excellent job of extracting raccoon, cleaning all animal waste, sanitizing, and spraying anti-parasitic substance. They closed all potential ports of entry, though the work did not match the vinyl, and it looks kind of tacky. They added blown insulation, which added a lot to the cost. They provide a one year warranty against animal intrusion, with an option to extend the warranty at the end of each one- year period. They were willing to work with me one the price. I will probably extend my warranty, and will definitely use them it the future.
Gene F.
I was really impressed by these guys. Got a call within a few hours of making an inquiry. Had a rep out to inspect the situation by the end of the week, and when they laid out the timeline they kept if not exceeded listed times.

Rob, Travis, and Jim were all professional, polite, and courteous and after months of hearing squirrels in my ceiling they are gone and the repair to my flashing looks excellent. Can't recommend these guys enough.
Bob I.

Jeff was incredibly professional and helpful. I'll use them again and would recommend them to anyone.
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Richard L.

Critter Control did a great job of evaluating our house for sites of entry after we found bats and a squirrel in our attic. They completed their work promptly and professionally.
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Kenneth H.
We heard some noise from the corner of our house. Concerned that it could be inside we called for an inspection. Jessy arrived as scheduled and conducted a complete inspection of our home. Based on a recording we made he determined we had a tree frog on our roof. I was pleased that we didn’t have any rodent in our house. And his inspection could a few spots I can tighten up around my house. I am very happy with the outcome.
-New Hampshire
Lee F.
We have a vacation home in Western Mass and haven’t been there much during the pandemic as we live and work in Atlanta, GA. On our most recent visit we noticed that we had some rodent intrusion as well as some un-welcomed wildlife who decided to make our vacation home their home.

We contacted Critter Control and Mr. Cahoon was quick to set up an appointment as we wouldn’t be in town very long. He came out and assessed our issues. He informed us of our options to both eradicate and control future intrusions. Keeping in mind that wildlife is wildlife! He quickly got to work eradicating the rodents and wildlife from our home and addressing the intrusion issues. We feel much better leaving our vacation home for periods at a time knowing that Mr. Cahoon and Critter Control did their job and did it right! Thanks again!
Mary L.
We bought an old cabin last spring , it was used for years as a summer vacation cabin, therefore maintenance wasn’t a priority. After our project to remodel started, we found evidence of mice droppings.

We immediately called Critter Control and they came and gave us a reasonable estimate to remove all remnants and insulation. They sanitized and replaced with new insulation and sealing up points of entry .

Seeing their professional work made us feel confident and secure that the problem was solved ! Everyone we worked with continued to show professional and respectful work. Highly recommend this company! We continue to use critter control monthly to be sure we are mice and bug free!


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