Signs of rats: Key clues you’re dealing with rats on your property – ‘check your garden’

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Rats are a common garden pest in the UK and can even make their way indoors during the winter months. But with plenty of places to hide and feed, these nocturnal creatures are almost impossible to catch in the act, making them difficult to get rid of before an infestation occurs. Luckily there are a few ways to seek-out hungry vermin lurking around your home, and it’s as simple as taking a closer look at your property.

While rats are active all year round, these unpleasant rodents are most prevalent in homes and gardens as summer comes to an end.

Pest control experts at Prokill said: “With autumn just around the corner, the temperature will start dropping and food supplies will become scarce.

“This means that before long, these pests will start making their way into your home.”

To prevent any unwelcome pests from taking over your property, the Prokill team recommended doing “daily checks” both indoors and outdoors – but what exactly are you looking for?

Signs of rats on your property

Rats are good at hiding out around food sources and rubbish bins but they’re not always impossible to find if you know what to look for.

Droppings

Perhaps the most obvious sign of rats is their unique droppings which resemble a large grain of rice.

According to Prokill, the droppings are dark brown in colour and are often found in large volumes.

A strong smell

Signs of rats in your home and garden can’t just be seen but also smelt too.

An unusual ammonia smell is most commonly associated with this pest and has been likened to the stench of urine or sweat.

This is most common when very large infestations of rats have taken hold of your home or outdoor space.

Burrows

One of the tell tale signs of rats is spotting a burrow in your garden.

These unpleasant rodents often burrow around bins, sheds, shelters, and even under garden decking.

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Bite marks

These nocturnal creatures have a strong bite and are known to leave their mark on almost any surface they can get their teeth into.

Their teeth are strong enough to chew through things such as plastic, wood, lead, aluminium, and even cement.

If you suspect a group of rats hiding out on your property, keep an eye out for bite marks around bins, in hoses, furniture, sheds, or anywhere else around the garden.

Gnawed areas on floorboards and walls may also indicate rats living indoors.

Footprints

Rats are known to spend their days scurrying around in search of food and shelter, so it’s inevitable they’re going to leave footprints.

Prokill explained that a good way to track footprints is to sprinkle flour or similar products onto the floor one evening and leave overnight to see if any fresh prints appear in the morning.

Rub marks

These nuisance rodents are prone to leaving greasy fur marks along their travel routes and are often found on skirting boards, floorboards, and walls.

Nests

Prokill explained that rat nests are most likely to be found in areas that are dry and hidden from predators.

For this reason, it may take a bit of searching to find nests lurking in your garden.

Clutter areas and those with easy food sources so are particularly high-risk areas for nesting outdoors.

Increased pet activity

Prokill said: “Cats and dogs have a much stronger sense of smell and hearing than we do so they may pick up on rats before you.

“If your pet is putting its nose inside crevices for longer and more often than usual or they’re suddenly constantly on the hunt for something, it could be rats.”

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