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How To Identify A Rat Nest In Your Home And What To Do About It?


When you have a rat infestation, one important element of dealing with it is understanding where the rat nest in your house is located. This knowledge will allow you to commence with rodent control measures in a much more targeted way. More importantly, it prevents you from accidentally sealing a rodent nest into your walls and creating a biohazard.

Where Do Rats Nest?

Rats like to nest in warm spots where predators won’t see or reach them. Proximity to their food and water sources is also a big bonus.

Urban rats are very adaptable, so you can find their nests hidden away in just about any spot in your home, from a drawer you haven’t opened in a while to behind large furniture, as well as in the walls or in burrows under the foundation of your house.

Roof rats, specifically, prefer to nest in high places, which is why infestations in the attic are so common.

What Does a Rat’s Nest Look Like?

As with many other nests, rat nests are usually constructed out of soft materials. If you find a collection of shredded paper, fabric, insulation, or even hair tucked away into a hidden corner of your home, it very well might be a rat nest.

How to Find a Rat Nest

You’ll need to use all of your senses to figure out how to find a rat nest. Here are the signs to listen to and watch for.


The first sign of where the nest is located will be noise. Rats usually make scratching and scurrying sounds, especially in the evening. Pay attention to where their noises are coming from, and you’ll identify the nest swiftly.


Another sure sign of infestation, in general, is droppings. Rat droppings are black ovals with blunt tips that are slightly larger than the average grain of rice. If the droppings are more rice grain-like, you might be dealing with mice rather than rats.

The location of the droppings will give you a general idea of how the rats like to move around your house and will allow you to trace where they’re hiding during the day.

Additionally, while you likely won’t be able to smell their droppings, you can use your nose to identify their urine.

Chew Marks

Rats chew on things for a couple of reasons. First, it helps them keep their teeth from growing too long. Second, it’s a great way to collect soft material with which to pad out their nests. If you find chewed paper, insulation, or clothing, that’s a good sign that the rat nest is nearby.

Prints and Oil Marks

Rats leave behind prints in dusty areas, and where their bodies come in contact with the wall, they can also leave behind oily marks. While this sign isn’t quite as obvious as their droppings, it can still be handy, helping you trace their steps to pinpoint the location of the nest.

How Many Rats Live in One Nest?

This greatly depends – rats can multiply quickly, so what starts out as a pair of rats can quickly transform into 10 to 15 rats. From there, rats continue to reproduce so the size of the infestation can grow exponentially. To account for the population growth, they will simply build more nests within the same area.

Do Rats Return To the Same Nest?

Rats will return to the same nest if they find that its location is safe, comfortable, and convenient. That said, they might also build multiple nests. One nest will be their main home while other nests can be like summer homes, where they only spend a few days at a time. Keep this in mind because it means there might be multiple nests throughout your home.

What To Do About a Rat Nest In Your House

Once you find a rat nest, you need to decide how to deal with it. Rats can be extremely destructive, and they can also bring diseases into your home, putting your family at risk. That’s why it’s so important to try to eliminate a rat infestation the moment you uncover it.

Getting rid of rats requires eliminating all of their food and water sources, sealing away the openings that allowed them to get into your house in the first place, and then trapping them. Once you eliminate the infestation, you might also need to decontaminate their nesting area and fix a lot of damage.

If you’d like expert help with that entire process, our team at Green Rodent Restoration is ready to help. We have the knowledge, experience, and tools not just to clear away the nesting rats, but also to make sure they never return. Get in touch with us for a free quote!

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