Will a Rat Nest in an Attic?
Rats are intelligent and resourceful creatures. These skills have afforded them the opportunity to survive and even thrive in a world dominated by humans. However, to survive so well rats will use the safety of human structures and the stability of human garbage as a food source. For this reason, rats become a nuisance. They infringe on human life and sometimes they even move into our homes.
Rats will nest almost anywhere they feel is safe and that includes attics. For most houses attics are full of storage or insulation and they are rarely disturbed. These factors make attics an ideal nesting ground for rats. They have a safe warm place to sleep, material to build nests from, there are no natural predators, and they are close to a food source. For a rat this is the ideal location to raise their babies and raising babies is something they do often.
Rats have a fast reproduction cycle. They reach reproductive maturity in a matter of weeks, their pregnancies are very short, and there is no breeding season so they can reproduce year-round. Rats do not mind living in social groups so as more pups are born the rat colony only grows and inhabits more space.
Attics may be the perfect place for rats to live, but that is not an ideal living situation for humans. If your attic is used for storage then chances are the rats will damage many of your goods as they chew and rip them to make nesting materials. Rats may also chew through electrical wires and parts of the home’s infrastructure. This could cost thousands of dollars to repair and may even cause the house to break down in ways that could harm the inhabitants.
An infestation of rats in an attic can cause health concerns for the homeowners as well. Wild rats carry a number of diseases ranging from leptospirosis to rabies and they can also bring parasites into the home. Contact with an infected rat could cause sickness and even death in extreme cases. Even if people don’t come into direct contact with these animals they can still obtain diseases if the animals are getting into their food storage or defecating and urinating around the house.
If you do find any signs of wild rats nesting in your home it is best to contact a wildlife removal specialist to assure that every animal is properly removed from the attic to prevent a new colony from emerging.