Surprising Reasons for Rats & Mice in Your House {and what to do about it}6 min read

Surprising Reasons for Rats & Mice in Your House {and what to do about it}6 min read

Did you find some black debris and just found out that it’s some sort of a rodent dropping?  Are you just feeling, OMG, what got them in your house and how did they intrude?

It’s a risk that you are always exposed to.  It’s better to be clean and vigilant about rodent infestation.

Your family’s health might be compromised if you don’t act promptly and correctly. Rodents are a notorious channel to spread contagious diseases.

You can drop all your other projects, right now – to combat this infamous creature.

This is important and urgent.

Signs of Rats in House

You can’t set up cameras in every corner to monitor the movement. What else can you do?

Well, you are better off looking for the signs of rat infestation than the actual rat itself.

Because it is easier to spot the signs.  It becomes easier at night and periods of least human presence.

Easier tell tales signs of rodent infestation are mentioned here:

Rodent droppings:

Rat and mice dropping are dark brown or black in color.  They look very similar to a grain of rice, but in black color.

Scratch noise:

Rodents can’t keep quiet and will always try to destroy objects my making holes.

Except for concrete and steel, they will poke holes where they find a good spot to move around, store and nest.

Black rats are quick climbers and they will often make a scratching noise while climbing.

Shredded materials:

Using their sharp teeth, they try to shred a lot of materials. You can easily spot the shredded materials to identify the presence of rats.

Gnaw marks are easily identified with paper and cardboard boxes. Especially, pay attention to food containers and you can see this.

Rat holes:

Some breed of rats is knowing to create tunnels for storage and nesting.  So, you can find the unusual creation of burrow systems to identify the presence.

Tracks and marks:

When you have a colony of rats or mice, you can find heavily traveled routes.  The grease and dirt they carry make the route a little dirtier.

You can also identify the tracks.  If you have an unused spot dust would have settled and it’s easy to spot tail marks and tracks.

Even otherwise angle the flashlight and you should be able to notice the tracks.

Distinct smell:

Rats and mice infestation will always result in a foul smell.  Either from them or due to the dropping, you can almost always smell it.

If you have cats and dogs in your house, pay attention to your pets.  Your pets are likely to pick up the smell of rodents and become more active and excited.

What Attracts Rats to Your House, Yard, and Garden?

Remember one thing.  Rodents (of any kind) are extremely persistent when it comes to entering your house.

The top in the list of what attracts them to your house is – Food.


I didn’t mean food in terms of what you eat.

Dirty dishes in the sink and leftover trash are yummy to Rats and Mice.

Your goal is to keep a clean-living place that is sanitized regularly.rats attracted to left over food and poor sanitation

In winter months, they need warmth and will likely find a way to get inside even if you keep a very clean house.

Their menu of food varies widely from grains, pet food to decayed meat.

Here’s a small list of what attracts them and what you need to eye for.

  • Leftover food
  • Plants, seeds, berries etc.
  • Trash receptacles that are easily accessible
  • Pet food
  • Previous rodent infestation (they’ve excellent memory and can come back)
  • Ripe fruits in the garden
  • Trash and clutter where they can hide 

Now you know their attraction, you just have to keep an extra eye to not leave them open or you run the risk of an open invitation to rodents.

What Causes Rats to Come in Your House?

While there can be several causes, it mostly boils down to one of these.

Attractive food, shelter, or just leaving spots open for them to explore you will most likely cause them to step foot in.

As you know by now the list of items (mentioned above) are a treat to any type of rodents.

They can smell stuff and find it and will remember the complicated path to come back every time.

Rodents have a photographic memory and they will never forget.

Second, the important thing is this.  Rats are very nimble and quick climbers. They run all over for no reason.  So, when they spot a hole, they try to explore.

If you have them in accidentally and they find a treasure, they are not going to leave.  If they do, they will come back for more.

Again, if you are in cold climates and as the outside weather gets colder, they want some warmth and will try to dig holes and somehow figure out a way to stay indoors.rats will nest in area where there is no human presence

How to Protect Your House from Rats & Mice Infestation?

Knowing what causes rats to come into your home is one thing.  But that knowledge isn’t going to stop them from coming.

Here’s what you need to do to protect your investment

Plug All the Holes, Cracks and Openings:

Rodents can squeeze into tight spots easily.  They are a nimble creature and can jump, crawl, climb and do acrobats to get in.

A 1/4-inch hole is a plenty for a toddler mouse to get in.  The holes can be usually found around the plumbing.

Cracks in your foundation will let rats come in and live behind your drywall. (That’s you may not know)

Look for gaps or holes around anything that has a protrusion your house structure and start to seal any unwanted gaps.

Maximize Home Usage:

Mice avoid places where human presence is felt.

Well, that translates to this. If you have an abandoned part of the house, such as the attic, or a closet in the basement, they will likely identify, nest and…

…start using that space.  Like they will own it.

Keep the area clean:

Front and backyard must be cleaned regularly.  Keep in mind to look for fallen fruits, seeds, berries, and other eatables and remove it.

Pet food left over, bird seeds etc., must be removed regularly.

Fix Your Garage Doors:

Gaps under garage doors are an easy entry point.

Again a 1/2″ inch gap might not be noticeable from a distance. You will be losing energy and inviting Rats in.

Trim Overarching Tree Branches:

  • Rats climb trees easily and jump on to the roof and find plenty of openings to get in.  Trim all branches to be at least 4 feet away from the structure.Pets are most aware of the smell of rats

Wrapping It Up

Rats and mice are dangerous as they carry a lot of diseases and can pose health threats to your family.

It’s better to be safe than sorry in this case.

The main attraction for rodents is poor sanitation.  So, you must keep the place clean and remove trash regularly.

Besides, you should also think of potential entry spots and try to seal it so you don’t give them a chance to occasionally intrude and explore.

Keep an eye for the tell-tale signs of rat infestation so you can quickly get to work if you know rodents are in your house.

Stay Healthy!

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