Rats and Their Hiding Places | 4 Important Things to Know

No matter where you live, if you reside in an area that is suitable for rats to thrive, there is a chance you might end up with one in your home. There are many ways to prevent this, and one of them is to learn about rats and their hiding places, and the conditions they prefer. With this information, you will be able to prevent an infestation, and you will be able to rest assured that your home is not an appealing place for rats to gather.

Rats and Their Hiding Places

Rats and Their Hiding Places


If you live in a house, a notorious place where rats like to dwell is inside of the walls. This happens because it is an easy entry point. They can enter very small holes or even create holes that will provide them with access. If this happens, you should definitely be able to hear them scurrying around. Rats tend to move freely in the walls, often eating insulation or even chewing through wiring. They have a solid form of shelter inside of the walls, and they will seldom leave once they have made their way inside.

Basements and attics are other places where rats like to dwell. They like to be confined inside tight or narrow spaces, so it makes sense why you are likely to find them here. To prevent this from happening, make sure you keep the area organized. An overcrowded basement or attic is the perfect environment for a rat to live comfortably.


If you live in an apartment, you are not spared from encountering rats inside. Since they do like confined areas, there actually might be plenty of places where they can hide inside of an apartment. Aside from walls, attics, and basements, you should also keep an eye on any lofts. These tend to be more common in apartments and are similar to attics. For this reason, rats might find their way up into lofts or similar tight spaces. You will likely hear them scurrying around from above.

Be cautious of your drains. Since apartment buildings do share pipelines, you might encounter a rat inside if your neighbor is not keeping their apartment clean. Rats enjoy darkness and moisture, which means that a drain or similar pipe would be an ideal place for them to roam. Rats like having access to the sewer because they are getting both food and shelter. It is a big place where they can roam virtually unharmed.

basement rat

Points of Entry

If you keep compost outside of your home, make sure it is not too close to a doorway or any other entry into your home. Rats are very attracted to compost piles because they are able to eat most of what goes inside a compost. You might unintentionally be attracting rats if your compost is too close to your house.

Another factor to take into consideration about rats and their hiding places is trees—rats can climb them and enter from above. Whether they make their way into your roof or attic, this is another way that rats are able to access the inside. Keep any surrounding trees trimmed, and always make sure you are regularly cleaning your gutters if you have them. This will make it harder for rats to get inside.

Although rats are notorious for roaming in the filth of the sewer, they are also attracted to fruits and nuts. If you keep trees indoors or outdoors, these can unintentionally become rat bait. Large pots are also typically dark inside, so rats are generally attracted to areas in which you have them. If they are able to get food and shelter in one place, they will have no reason to go elsewhere.

Keep an eye on any leaks that might be forming inside. Rats will be attracted to dripping pipes, especially inside your walls. This is another reason why you should always get leaks taken care of right away. This will prevent an infestation and will also protect your home or apartment from further damage. Always make sure you put food away when you are finished with it, as well. Any food left out overnight will attract rats in the same way. In general, you should store important belongings in something other than cardboard. Rats love to chew through it, so protect your stored items in sturdy plastic bins or other durable storage options.

Time of Day

Like other rodents, rats are nocturnal. They become active when the sun goes down, so you will usually see them most between sunset and sunrise. This can make it tricky to see that you have a problem, but always make sure to listen. If you have rats inside, whether they are in your walls or in your living space, you should be able to hear them scurrying. They get comfortable when it is dark, so they will be more active around this time.

If you notice rats around during the daytime, this likely means their nest has been disturbed in some way. This is a big warning sign because it means they are quickly looking for a new place to call home. Any place in your home such as the areas described above will be a rat’s haven if it can access it. Make sure to plug up any unnecessary holes that give access to the inside of your home and secure areas that are cramped and dark.

Another reason why you might see rats during the daytime is when they are hunting for food. Rats that are not getting enough to eat will resort to looking for food during the day. This is another time when your home is susceptible to an infestation if you leave food out or keep dirty dishes in the sink for too long. As long as you stay vigilant about cleaning up both the inside and outside of your dwelling, you should not have a problem with a serious rat infestation. If any rats do end up coming in, you can exterminate them and look over any areas where they might find it suitable to create a nest.

When you have pest infestation concerns, browse our website to learn about why pests are in your home and find ways to keep them out.

rat coming out at night