Top Five Signs of a Rat Infestation in South Florida

October 26, 2021
A rat crawling out of a toilet is a sign of a rat infestation
The signs of a rat infestation are not always this obvious.

Some people keep rats and mice as pets, but when they do, they keep them in protective enclosures. If you aren’t one of them and see or hear scurrying, you might be facing one of the first signs of a rat infestation. If that’s the case, you should consider seeking professional help. If you’re not sure, we’ve included some of the most common symptoms of these pests in your home.

We’ve tried to group these signs of rat infestation by the types of areas where you are most likely to notice them—at home in a residential setting, on commercial properties, and nested inside your boat on the water. If you notice these five signs, you may have a rat infestation and will want to contact an experienced pest management service right away.

#1 Skittering and Scratching Sounds Are the First Signs of Rat Infestation

Mice and rats make noise as they work around an environment looking for food or setting up their nest. These pests are most active between dusk and dawn, so while homeowners might notice them right away, many businesses are not open 24 hours per day, and unless you work as a charter captain, most of us only take our boats out during the day.

Venue: Residential, Commercial, Marine

#2 Strange Pet Behavior

Cats and dogs are pretty territorial, and while dogs may not chase or eat mice, both are likely to want to track down and investigate any signs of a rat infestation. So if Fido or Fluffy appear to be chasing things around the house, you should be wary of the other signs that mice or rats have taken up residence in your home.

Venue: Residential

#3 Bad Odor

Rodents are often smelled before they are seen or heard. This is because they urinate behind walls and in other locations, and over time, the smell will begin to emanate through a structure. Unfortunately, they may also die within their nests, depending on their age. If that’s the case, the smell of decay will also quickly begin to make your property or boat unusable.

Venue: Commercial, Marine, Residential

Signs of a rat infestation

#4 Tracks and Grease Marks

One of the hardest things to do is detect signs of rat infestation during the day. Because rodents are nocturnal, they will lay completely dormant in your walls and attic until their next feeding or reproductive cycle. This leads to fewer identification options. There are fewer options available, but tracks and grease marks are two good options. Especially near wall corners or other places where dust builds up, you may be able to see the telltale footprints of rodents. They also tend to be dirty and sometimes leave grease from their coat on the walls, especially near their entrance and exit holes.

rat leaving grease marks on walls
Rats can be so dirty that they leave grease marks on walls they rub against.

Venue: Commercial, Residential, Occasionally Marine 

#5 Gnawed Materials

Much like sharks have seemingly infinite rows of teeth, rodents have teeth that never stop growing. To keep them to a usable level, these creatures will gnaw through:

  • Wood
  • Plastic 
  • Concrete 
  • PVC 
  • Even soft metals like aluminum. 

This is why it can be difficult to ensure that entrances to a property are truly protected against them.

Venue: Commercial, Marine, Residential

Confirm Signs of a Rat Infestation with Professional Help

Nozzle Nolen installing guards after signs of a rat infestation
If you notice signs of a rat infestation, call the professionals.

No matter if it’s on the water, in your home, or at your place of business, signs of rat infestation must be dealt with. These creatures are dirty, aggravating, and carriers of many potentially dangerous diseases. Thankfully, pest management experts know how to ensure that your property is safe.

Contact Nozzle Nolen today to help confirm signs of rat infestation. We offer commercial rat control, residential pest control, and even marine rodent control options. Call 800.226.6536 or Contact Us today. We look forward to serving you.

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