Rats follow a routine. During the night, they look for food and feed. And during the day, they go back to their nest to rest. If you are seeing rats during the day, you should be worried because rats should be in their nest during this time. So, what does it mean if you see rats during the day?
- Rats are nocturnal animals. Rats are generally nocturnal, meaning they are more active during the night. The main reason for this is to avoid predators. They also avoid humans as much as possible, and that is why many homeowners with rat infestations almost never see rats around their home. They only catch a glimpse of them during the night. If you are seeing rats during the day, you know you are dealing with something unusual because it is against their nature to be active in the daytime.
- Rats breed quickly. Rats reproduce at a terrifying rate. Female rats typically give birth to six litters a year, with about five to ten rats each. This is accompanied by the fact that rats reach sexual maturity in just four to five weeks. In perfect conditions, two rats can turn into 1,250 rats in just a year! Rats reproduce so quickly that those with rat infestations at home should use more traps than they think to successfully control rat populations.
- Rat infestations are a health concern. There are a lot of diseases directly transmitted by rodents. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis are just some of them. Rats spread diseases in a variety of ways. But usually, these ways involve rat poop or rat urine. For instance, you can get leptospirosis by consuming something that has been contaminated with rat urine.
Why you keep seeing rats during the day
- You may have a severe rat infestation. Seeing a live rat is one of the strongest signs of a rat infestation, and seeing a live rat during the day may be a sign that the infestation is already severe. Severe rat infestations should concern you. Having more rats at home means having more opportunities to get rodent-related diseases like leptospirosis. Rats also cause structural damage to your home. In worst cases, they bite through wires, cause electrical problems, and lead to fires that can completely gobble up homes.
- Rats are acclimatized to your home. Rats move carefully in their environment. For instance, they don’t easily trust objects that they know are new to the area. This can be frustrating to some homeowners because it means rats will avoid traps that have been newly installed to get rid of them. If rats expose themselves during the day, you know they are already comfortable in your home. Depending on your perspective, this can be good news or bad news. It’s bad because you know the infestation is severe, and it’s good because you can use their overconfidence to your advantage. Outsmart them with effective rat trapping techniques.
- Less dominant rats in rat nests look for food during the day. Rat nests have hierarchies. There are dominant rats and less dominant ones. The more dominant rats freely look for food during the night. But the less dominant ones sneak during the day to avoid competing with the dominant ones. Fun fact — most rats caught by rat traps are bigger on average because they are the more dominant ones who are freely traveling around your home. If you are seeing rats during the day, you may be seeing the less dominant ones while the more dominant ones are either dead or resting in their nest.
How to stop seeing rats during the day
- Call pest control professionals. Rat infestations are usually hard to completely eliminate because of how smart rats are and how fast they reproduce. You are better off calling pest control professionals to do the job. Sure, there are commercial rat control products available in the market, so you can try getting rid of the rats yourself. There are also a lot of DIY and home remedies out there. But nothing beats pest control professionals who have the experience and the knowledge to deal with these pests effectively and safely.
- Use rat traps or rodenticides. If you really want to get rid of the rats yourself, rat traps and rodenticides are your best options. But understand that either has its own complications. Rat traps are effective, but you have to use the right baits and place them in the most strategic locations to maximize their effectiveness. Rodenticides are effective too, but there is the risk of rat poisoning in humans. Rats that are affected by rodenticides also often squeeze through the most inaccessible parts of your home and die there. This can easily stink up your home when the rats start to rot.
- Make your home unattractive to rats. You don’t have to deal with rats at home. Make your home unattractive to rats, so they don’t even think of going and settling in there. First, you should limit access to your home by keeping doors and windows closed and sealing cracks, gaps, and holes that may serve as passageways. Second, you should make food inaccessible by storing your food in proper containers that can’t easily be gnawed by rats and emptying your garbage cans regularly. Remember that pests go to your home for two general reasons — shelter and food. If they can easily find either, you are sure to attract them.
Seeing rats during the day can mean trouble
Rats are nocturnal animals, so seeing rats during the day is not a good sign. It may mean you have a severe rat infestation at home and the rats have already been acclimatized to the environment. You don’t want these pests in your home because of health concerns, particularly how they spread diseases with their poop and urine.
If you are serious about getting rid of rat infestations, call pest control professionals as soon as you can. If you want to get rid of them on your own, there are effective methods out there like rat trapping and poisoning, but remember that they are not as easy to use as you think.