Rats inhabit walls mainly to build nests near a reliable food and water source and to have a safe place to give birth to a litter of pups. Rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter, making it easy for them to enter your home and your walls. Rats typically enter homes through roof edges, ventilation systems, and air conditioning units. They will use any holes around doors, windows, cables, or vents. Rats in walls prefer entering your attic but will also take advantage of basements, crawlspaces, or gaps in masonry or siding.

What Are the Signs of Rats in Walls?

One of the most apparent signs of rats is the trail of feces they leave wherever they travel. If they live in your walls, you may see trails between where rats live and their food source. Rats travel along baseboards and appliance edges and typically do not travel more than 50 feet for food.

Other signs of rats in walls include noises coming from your walls. You may hear squeaks, chirps, or hisses. You may also hear scurrying or running noises, scratching, gnawing, and rustling of materials. Seeing gnaw marks on wires, ducts, wood, groceries, or other items could indicate rats. Rats leave rub marks that look like grease stains on everything their fur touches. Additionally, rats disturb insulation in attics.

You can have rats in the walls but not in the house. If a rat dies within your walls, you will notice a foul odor as it decays. In some cases, a buildup of rat urine inside your walls can create stains on the outside.

How Do Rats Get in the Walls?

Rats look for cracks and gaps of all sizes that lead to cavities within your walls. If they enter the attic, rats will likely work below the insulation and chew through drywall to create a hole between walls. Entering through your basement, rats may crawl upward between floor joists or directly between a wall’s base. Rats find easy access to your home through improperly screened gable vents, eaves, pipe holes, fascia boards, roof joints, and sewage pipes.

How Do I Get Rats Out of the Wall Cavity?

Several factors determine how to get rats out of the wall cavity, including the type of rats and the size of the infestation. Some homeowners may be able to eliminate rats in house walls using do-it-yourself solutions. Others may need to call a professional for help.

DIY Options

Using the right tools to kill rats in walls is crucial. Consider the following when trying to get rid of them yourself:

  • Set wooden snap traps along the trails where rats travel. Do not place the traps inside your wall cavities to avoid larger problems. Continue to set traps until all rats are caught.
  • Inspect your home for all possible holes and cracks a rat can enter. Seal all of them.
  • Remove or adequately store food sources that may attract rats.
  • Maintain a clutter-free environment.
  • Try natural rat deterrents to prevent rats from returning.

Calling an Exterminator

In many cases, homeowners benefit the most when hiring a professional to get rid of rats in walls. Rats cause damage to your home and create hazardous environments for your family and pets. They contaminate areas, chew through electrical wires, destroy insulation, and cause structure instability. Professionals have the tools and knowledge to remove rats, sanitize areas of your home, and repair damages quickly and safely. In addition, experts prevent future rat infestations.

Professionals have training in the different rat species and which baits and traps work best for each. They know where to set traps for efficiency and can handle small and large infestations. They also offer a thorough inspection to discover all possible entry points and know how to seal them permanently. Professionals have the tools and equipment to deal with sanitization, and they can prevent future activities of rats in walls.

Preventing Rats

To prevent rats from entering house walls, eliminate all food, water, and shelter resources. If nothing attracts rats to your yard or home, they will not be interested in getting into your walls. Here are some tips for preventing rats:

  • Conduct regular home inspections, searching for cracks, gaps, crevices, and holes. Immediately seal them using mesh, steel wool, cement, or other items rats cannot easily chew through.
  • Eliminate food sources, including open trash cans, pet food bags, rotten fruits and vegetables in the garden, and table scraps you may throw out for compost.
  • Eliminate clutter from your yard. Rats are attracted to piles of wood, rocks, debris, tires, and heavy vegetation.
  • Eliminate water sources like leaky pipes, clogged gutters, pet bowls, bird baths, and anything else that holds water.

What If I Hear Rats in My Walls?

If you hear rats in walls, quickly inspect your home for access points that allow the rats to enter. Seal all entry points first so that when you get rid of the rats, others won’t be able to take their place. Determine how you will get rid of rats in house walls. Do you want to use a DIY solution? If so, use the correct traps and bait for the type of rat invading your space.

If you choose to contact a professional for help, call Critter Control for wildlife removal services, which includes removing rats in walls.

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