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Pest control

What Does A Rats Nest Look Like

By April 12, 2022August 17th, 2022No Comments
Rats in their nest

The absolute last thing a homeowner wants to encounter is a rats nest. Luckily, most homeowners will not even come close to identifying one. However, it is a great idea to always be prepared for this possibility. If you have a messy yard and a lot of water near or around your home, you can attract any rodent or pest. What does a rats nest look like? It is a collection of clutter, trash, and debris. Oftentimes it has newspaper shreds and other items.

Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding rats nests.

What Do They Use

Believe it or not, a rat’s nest is fairly easy to spot. Rats can use a variety of materials that are available to them from the trash or outdoors. Here is a list of what the majority of rodents will use to make a nest:

  • Fallen leaves, broken branches, and anything that is left on the ground by a plant, shrub, or tree.
  • Waste materials such as paper goods, wrappers, and plastic materials. Anything left by humans in the trash.
  • Cotton is a great insulator. So, if they can find cotton balls or cotton clothing pieces that can be dragged to the nest area, they will take it and use it.
  • Twigs from your trees fall to the ground often. This is because squirrels jump around and often break branches. Additionally, these twigs or branches fall to the ground and are suitable for rats to collect for their nest.

How Do I Know It’s A Nest

Luckily for the homeowner, discovering a rat’s nest should be clear as the day’s sky. There are a few indicators that you can expect to see to confirm your original suspicions of a nest.

  • Rat Excrement – all organisms need to use the bathroom and rats are no different. The first thing you will notice is the smell of ammonia resonating into the air. If the urine is dry, it will appear chalky and found around the nest. In addition, you will see rat poop or rat droppings. These droppings are bigger than mouse droppings and typically about 3/4 of an inch long. Like all poop, the droppings are dark until dry. Then they transition to a whiter color as they dry out. Infestations are noticeable by the amount of droppings you discover each day.
  • Access Holes – rats like to eat through the drywall in your home. In addition, your homes exterior will show signs of holes or a hole in the wall. Rats can actually eat through concrete. Once you discover these rat holes and have a chance to look inside of them, you will clearly see if a nest is present.
  • Noises in the Walls – rats that are present inside your walls or in the attic will make noise. Especially if there are many of them. While they are building their nests you might hear them scratching, squeaking, or even hissing through your walls.
  • Wall Markings – because rats are scavengers, they will typically be in and around a lot of trash. The oils and greases from the trash get onto their fur and feet. When they run back and forth in your home, you will notice wall markings. The wall markings give the rat a trail so that they can make it back to their nest safely.
Rats will go anywhere for food.
Rats will go anywhere for food.

Where Will They Build A Nest

Nests will be built anywhere that is safe and concealed. Just like homeowners, the rats typically don’t want to be seen in their homes. Some ideal places for them to construct a nest are as follows:

  • Your attic space due to its size and food options is a place rats may look to build a nest
  • The darkness of your crawlspaces, where you won’t see them in action.
  • Wall spaces that have options for them to crawl up and down and have access to food.
  • Plumbing areas that are boxed in so that their nests have support.
  • Beneath your porch. You rarely sit out there in the winter and they stay warm and cozy.

Keep in mind that rats do like to venture outside of your home or building for nesting. Anywhere they can find food and water are a substantial location for nesting. You can often find rats nests in locations such as:

  • Piles of debris and trash dumps are a place rats may look to build a nest.
  • Ponds or man-made lakes around your subdivision or home development.
  • The tresses of your home, provide easy access in and out without disturbing your home’s interior.
  • Furniture that has been discarded or sitting in a pile outside of your home or building.

All of these items provide a safe and secure spot for rats. If you don’t want them around then it is a great idea to make sure that all clutter is removed from your yard and homes exterior.

Rats also like to burrow.
Rats also like to burrow.

How to Prevent Rats Nests

Your two best options for preventing rats’ nests are regular pest control for deterrence and keeping the clutter away. Oftentimes you will notice some rat findings in the spring. As the weather starts to turn nice, the rats will get out more and become more visible. Also, rats will be on the look out for the perfect place to build a nest. Spring cleaning is a must and once the weather is warm, it’s a great time to declutter your outdoors. Remove all existing debris, wood piles, furniture piles, and other junk piles.

How Much Does It Cost

Rat extermination is very expensive. They can cause a lot of damage and reproduce a lot of offspring very quickly. Standard rat removal can cost between $250 and $700. If you happen to have your local pest control company out and they tell you that it’s a really bad infestation, then you can expect to pay over $1,200 to get those rats removed. Always plan ahead for extermination expenses.

Other Recommended Maintenance

As we stated above, one of the many signs of a rat infestation is the smell. Unfortunately for the homeowner, mice and rats generally have the same smell. So, if you notice a very foul stench, it could be a dead mouse in your walls, attic space, or even in the vents. Understanding how to get rid of a dead mouse smell can save you some time and money. Like the extermination of rats, you are likely going to need pest control to assist in the smell removal.

Consider the possibility that you need to get rid of rats from your walls. Let’s assume that their nesting was in the walls and not the attic or crawl space. How could you possibly get rats out of your walls? Would you even know how to do it? Reading up on this allows you to better understand your local pest control company as they look to remove the rats from your walls.

Lastly, another nuisance that many do not call pest control for is our lizard population. Many homes in the south have porches or patios. Once the lizards get on the porch or patio, they just become a nuisance. Always fun to watch, and good at eating your local insects, however, they can also create messes and draw in larger pests. This would be a great time to read up on how to get lizards off your porch.

Call when you see a rat coming out of the wall.
Call when you see a rat coming out of the wall.

When Do I Call A Professional

The moment that you discover a rat’s nest, you will reach out to your local pest control company. No homeowner should feel comfortable expelling a rat contingency on their own. Not only do you need environmentally friendly options, but you need time as well. Leave it to the professionals as they have the tricks of the trade and experiences.


If you have a rat’s nest, you likely have a rat infestation. This is never a good situation for the homeowner. You will almost always have to move out while the pest control company exterminates the rats as this is for your health and safety. Rats carry diseases and can also turn your home into a very smelly and gross place to live. Make sure to communicate with your local pest control team and call on All South Pest Control to determine your pest service needs in McDonough, GA, and the surrounding areas.

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