Ways to tell if you have rats in the apartment ceiling

Abell Pest Control

Rats are sneaky creatures that love to meddle in apartment buildings. However, tenants usually aren't fans of them. You may feel paranoid for several nights as you listen to skittering above your head. Yet after a while, you know something is there. Here are a few indicators that you've got a rat problem in your apartment.

It begins to smell

Tenants may suspect a problem when their apartment begins to smell funky, the San Francisco Chronicle stated. Though initially a roommate may be blamed for forgetting to take out the trash, you eventually realize the smell isn't going away. The smell may be musky, as a result of the combination of rodent droppings, fur and possibly decomposition.

You hear noises

Though you may assume you have a really loud neighbor, this sound also isn't going away. Through the ceiling, tenants might hear sounds of skittering or rustling randomly or for one long period of time. Rodents are usually the most active in the early morning or at night.


One of rats' daily activities is gnawing. Rats need to gnaw on hard objects such as wood to prevent their teeth from growing. Rats will chew through drywall, plastic, pipes, wood and so on. However, this behavior puts your ceilings at risk, since they may chew their way right through it, Attic-Rat noted. If rats are sneaky enough, they may invade your apartment through the wall and begin to steal food. Check your apartment for small holes in walls, ceilings and food boxes such as cereal.

Makeshift nests

Another indicator of the presence of rats are nests. Regardless of whether the rat is wild or a pet, all rats like to build nests. Rats will use various sources to create a nest. If the rats are in the ceiling, they may use insulation, paper, sawdust, leaves and twigs and other objects to do the job. If the rats have made their way from the ceiling to the apartment, there are a few places they'll make their new home. Look in cabinets, behind furniture, in empty dressers and underneath sinks - all of these are common spots.

Rodent droppings and food scraps

One of the most blatant signs that you have a rat problem are droppings. Tenants can look for small piles of droppings around their apartment, which usually are the size of raisins. Rats aren't polite - they'll go to the bathroom anywhere. You may also come upon food left by rats. If rats have stolen some of your food, you may find small remnants of shells and crumbs.

If you suspect you have a rodent problem, contact your landlord about a rat exterminator. He or she can call pest control services who can properly take care of the problem.

About the author:

Since 1924, Abell Pest Control has provided quality services, protecting our customers and their patrons from coast-to-coast. Our customers enjoy the expertise and resources of a national provider. Prouder yet, we are members of your community, ready to service your home or business 24/7.

We are reliable experts in pest control—experts who care. At Abell Pest Control, we bring experience, efficacy and knowledge to customers who are looking for a fast, safe and effective solution to their pest problem.

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