How to Tell If You Have Rats in Your Attic

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Rats in an attic can cause serious problems.
Rats in an attic can cause serious problems. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Having rats in your attic is a serious problem that must be addressed immediately. Rats not only spread disease, they can cause serious damage to a home. They are known for chewing wires and can even start a fire due to an electrical short. In addition, the presence of rats also tempts predators to join them in the attic, looking for an easy meal. There are numerous ways to tell if you have rats in your attic.

Listen for sounds of rodent infestation. Rats, although small, are large enough to make noise. If you hear skittering, clunking or even squeaking coming from the attic, the chances are very high that you have rats there.

Examine the attic for rat droppings. Rats have a very prolific digestive system and will leave thousands of droppings behind. You should notice a "rodent type" smell in the air, and you'll see tiny black droppings in areas where rats have been.

Look for signs of destruction. Rats are voracious eaters and will consume nearly anything. Look for boxes or papers that have been chewed. In addition, rats also like to chew on household electrical wires. Examine any exposed wires -- don't touch the wires, simply look at them -- for signs of chewing.

Pay attention to noticeable power dips in your home. If rats have already chewed your wiring, you may notice a sudden dimming or dipping of power when you turn on a light switch or use an outlet. This is very serious. Call an electrician immediately if you notice this problem.

Look for signs of other animals. Raccoons will commonly seek out attics that have large rat populations if they are looking for an easy meal. If you suddenly hear a lot of traffic overhead in your attic, this is a sign that you definitely have a problem.

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