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How Do You Know If You Have A Rat Problem?
October 20, 2023

How Do You Know If You Have A Rat Problem?

Like any area, Hampton Roads is not immune to pest problems, and one of the most common issues residents in this coastal region face is rat infestations. If you’re concerned that a rat infestation has developed in your home, but aren’t quite sure, this blog post is for you. Read along as we explore the signs of a rat problem and what to do if you think your property has been taken over by rodents.

rats leave behind greasy rub marks when they infest homes

A quick look at the types of rats in Hampton Roads

Roof rats, also known as black rats or ship rats, are a particularly pesky species of rodent known to infest homes in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth, as well as throughout Hampton Roads. Unlike Norway rats, which tend to stay at ground level, roof rats are adept climbers and often make their way into homes through the roof or attic. Although roof rats might be the more common rat problem, we do see a fair amount of Norway rat activity as well.

Signs of a rat problem

To protect your property and health, keep a look out for the following signs of a rats:

  • Scratching noises in the attic or ceiling
    As we mentioned above, roof rats are agile climbers and are often heard moving around in these high spaces. If you hear noises coming from overhead or even in the walls, it’s time to investigate further. Better yet, give Getem Services a call; we’d be happy to take a look for you.
  • Droppings & urine stains
    Another clear indication of a rat infestation is the presence of rat droppings and urine stains. Roof rat droppings are smaller than those of Norway rats and tend to be 1/2-inch long with pointed ends. Norway rat droppings, on the other hand, are about an inch long and have blunt ends. Rodent droppings and urine stains can be found in attics, basements, crawl spaces, and along pathways these pests use to travel as well as in areas where they search for food.
  • Gnaw marks
    Like mice and other rodents, rats must constantly gnaw or chew to keep their incisors at a manageable length. If you have a rat problem, you’re likely to see chew marks on various materials in your home. Look for gnaw marks on wires, insulation, wooden structures, cardboard boxes, belongings, and even food packaging.
  • Nests & nesting materials
    Roof rats tend to build nests in secluded, high-up spaces like attics. Norway rats typically construct their nests at or below ground level, but may move into the attic and other areas if their population is too large. If you find nests made of shredded materials such as paper, cardboard, or fabric, it’s a sure sign some type of a rodent infestation.
  • Rub marks
    Rats have greasy fur, and as they navigate through homes, they often leave behind smudge marks on walls, pipes, and other surfaces. The image above is an example of rat rub marks. 
  • Live rats
    While the signs of a rats listed above are indicative of a rat infestation, seeing a live rat in your home is proof positive. Worse, if you see a rat (or rats) during the day, there’s a good chance you’ve got more than a rat or two in your home. For the most part, rats are nocturnal, so if you observe them during the daytime, it could mean there’s a significant population present.

Getting rid of rats

If you’ve heard strange noises coming from your attic at night, have discovered chew marks on your favorite box of cereal, or noticed other signs of rat activity, contact Getem Services right away for the best rodent control in Hampton Roads!

How Getem Services exterminates rats

Here at Getem Services, our customized rodent control services are ideal for both homes and businesses in Hampton Roads. When you reach out to us for help getting rid of rats, we’ll start off by completing a rodent inspection. This allows us to accurately identify the rodent, determine the size of the infestation, and locate nesting areas and entry points as well as conducive conditions.

From there, your pest control specialist will review the inspection findings, recommend a multi-step plan of action that would likely include the following:

  • Interior rodent traps (including the attic & crawl space)
  • Exterior rodent bait stations
  • Rodent exclusion services
  • Three follow-up services

For homeowners who find themselves battling rats and/or mice regularly, we highly recommend signing up for our quarterly home pest control plan! Offering year-round protection starting as low as $39.99/month, our team of licensed pest control specialists will ensure that rodents don’t have the chance to infest your home!  

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Been using Getem for a few years for termite control. Added quarterly service to make my house fit to use as an Airbnb. Kevin was awesome. Thank you!
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