Although a hungry or threatened rat certainly can be brazen, on the whole, these pests will do everything they can to avoid contact with humans.
We are after all a predator and rats are fairly intelligent so they know to take steps to avoid us. Combined with the fact that rodents are naturally more active at night, the chances of seeing one are pretty slim. While you may breathe a sigh of relief at this news, it can make it difficult to determine if you’ve successfully eliminated an infestation.
Below we answer the all-important question, ‘how do you know if rats are gone?’
There are no signs of a rat infestation
If the signs that were once there have now gone, this is a very good indication that the infestation has been removed.
Common signs of a rat infestation include:
- Droppings. Brown rat droppings are dark brown and a tapered, spindle shape
- You see a nest or nesting materials which have been dropped on the floor by rats transporting it back to their base. Common nesting materials include shredded paper, fabric, cardboard or dried plant matter
- Rats are dirty creatures and will therefore often leave greasy dirt stains on surfaces they’ve been in contact with. You’re most likely to notice them on skirting boards or at the bottom of doors they’ve brushed up against
- Food packaging has been chewed
- Wooden furniture has been gnawed
- Holes have been chewed through walls and floors
- There’s a strange stale smell you can’t explain. This is especially likely to occur in areas of the home you don’t use very often
- Rats are known for digging extensive burrows around properties
- You can hear scratching noises coming from behind walls or underneath floorboards, especially at night
Conduct some DIY tests
A great way to test if rats are still making their way through your home is to spread some flour or talcum powder overnight on surfaces and floors you suspect they visit. If you do still have rats, they will leave a trail of footprints which can also help you to determine where they’re hiding.
Another trick is to leave a biscuit out and if it has been nibbled on or even completely eaten, rats could be your culprit (unless you have a dog of course). Because rats are stronger than mice, they’re more likely to take the entire biscuit away to eat later or share with their family.
Call pest control
Using a professional pest controller is the quickest and most effective way to eliminate a rat infestation. Here at Prokill, we’re not satisfied until you are so our qualified technicians are always on hand should you have any questions, even after we’ve provided our services.
If you would like extra peace of mind that your rat infestation is completely gone, please don’t hesitate to call us and your local pest controller will be more than happy to pop in and take a look for you.