The Pest Control Blog North America

There Is A Rat In My Loft!

Rats in the loftSo, here is my update folks! My exterminator is pretty certain we are dealing with a rat problem in our loft.

I pointed out the roof area in our master bedroom, where we can hear the noise. He then happened to look outside our window and saw that in the back garden of our next door neighbour’s house there are two very large fish ponds.

We know the owner is a carp fish enthusiast – some of his fish are very valuable. When we moved in we were pretty impressed to see the ponds. Not once did we connect the fact that a constant water source is just as attractive to rats as a food source.

My exterminator informed me that rats consume approximately 30mg of food and 60ml of water per day. So when he saw those fish ponds, he thought we were very likely dealing with rats. That is not what I wanted to hear.

He added that my local area has a far greater problem with rats and mice. He spends the majority of his working day dealing with rats and he had spent the earlier part of the day in other people’s lofts, who had reported a similar problem – again, not really what I wanted to hear!

When he got into my loft he said that there was no obvious smell of the presence of rats – apparently they give off a distinctive ammonia-like smell. So, we may only be dealing with an individual loner rat or maybe two. Either way the important thing is to catch them before they have the opportunity to produce babies.

On further inspection of the loft, he discovered a reasonable size tunnel in the lagging by our water tank, located roughly in the area where we can hear the noise. This then re-confirmed that we are not dealing with bats or squirrels as they do not tunnel in that way.

Then, as if on cue, we could hear the familiar scratching and scurrying noise whilst he was still up there. But we could not see anything, and he did not find any evidence of droppings, which is obviously another sign of rats.

And now a word of advice about boarding your loft.

This is generally a good idea and prevents any possible risk of your leg going through the ceiling whilst you are up the

Image of Black Rat [Rattus rattus] | Ehrlich

re. However, if ever you have a pest problem, it may become a hindrance! There is the possibility that our rat is underneath the floor boards, running around having a brilliant time under the cover of darkness!

There may be a chance that we will have to pull up the floorboards eventually, but we are happy to do that if it means there is a better chance of locating our furry pest!

In the meantime powerful baits have been left at either end of the discovered tunnel and at other points in our loft. Our exterminator will be coming back next week, to check for any signs of consumption. He also checked the outside of our home but could not find any obvious entry points.

I woke up this morning and I did not hear anything, and I thought that perhaps our rat had already eaten the bait – but sadly this hope lasted but a few mere seconds. The familiar noise from our loft became audible again.

Will continue to keep you all posted after the next visit – fingers crossed!

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  1. Posted November 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    You definitely want to get rid of the rats before two rats become twelve rats and they party all night!

  2. Posted November 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    haha I love Alicia´s comment! I totally agree, please keep us posted! you know I´m enjoying it only because it didn´t happen me…

  3. Posted November 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Rats can multiply like a math genius. Better to be proactive and subtract those critters early before they start creating other little rat rascals to mooch off of homeowners!

  4. Posted November 26, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    The loft is a common area to find any Rat activity if indeed someone has Rats. It is vital to find out how they have gained entry to prevent further re infestations, extermination is the straight forward part, proofing an area such as a loft may be more challenging. I recently had this problem, Rats had gained access to a loft in Kent, the house backed onto a small stream and they have come from there, along the overgrown side of the property and up the flat roof to the corner of the main roof and under the joists. This time of year is always worse due to the weather getting colder, anyone that has had previous problems should carry out checks of those areas regularly.

  5. Posted November 26, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Rats constantly explore and learn about their environment, memorizing the locations of pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter, and other elements in their domain. They quickly detect and tend to avoid new objects placed into a familiar environment. Thus, objects such as traps and baits often are avoided for several days or more following their initial placement.

  6. Posted November 26, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    One more thing…. Rats have an escellent sense of taste so traps must be baited with a food that is more attractive than what is normally available.

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