Human dwellings and outbuildings provide shelter for rats and mice during cold periods. Crawl space areas beneath homes or attics are common rat escapes. Rats will also utilize garages, sheds or even inside your home. They do not like open exposure, mainly foraging at night or with heavy infestation the weaker rat of the nest may seek out food sources during the day.
The reason for the increase in rat infestations during the fall and winter months is due to the weather is changing, therefore rats are seeking warmer habitats which usually consist of inside homes or in garages. Many people notice movement of rats when large areas of land is excavated for construction. This displaces a large amount of rats and mice.
In our area there are two types of rats that infest homes, the Norway rats and Roof rats. Norway rats dwell in burrows found in grass embankments, beneath the roots of trees and at the edges of palings and drain covers. Roof rat nests may be found inside the lofts, attics, beneath floor boards and in other dark infrequently visited locations.
Rats are responsible for the transmission of many diseases. Their feeding habits are destructive, and their nesting behaviors can compromise the structure of infested buildings. However, rats are secretive and not seen by many humans when populations are low. Therefore, an infestation may prove difficult to confirm. The most obvious sign of a rat infestation is the sighting of a rat dead or alive. Rats prefer to hide, given enough space, so if seen in plane sight it is likely there is a full blown infestation. Another sign would be a spotting of rat droppings. Rat droppings indicate a heathy feeding rat population. The last sign, which is probably the most vague, would be if you see a sign of a rat leaving dirt or grease marks along floorboards. Although this is a sign it is not a for sure indication of rats being in your house and could be many other things.
In the event of an infestation it is best to consult a pest control professional. If you see any signs that rats might be in your home call Western Exterminating at 817-834-3121 to set up an appointment for an estimate and evaluation.