Can Rats Climb Downspouts ? [Shocking Facts]

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A downspout is a downpipe that channels rainwater downwards from a roof or a building. Usually, domestic animals can climb downspouts, but can rats climb downspouts to reach the rooftop?

Rats are excellent climbers. They can easily climb the downspouts and gutters through their sharp nail feet without any difficulty, usually, they climb downspouts at the night to find out food and chew their favorite stuff.

In this article, we will have an overview of how and why the rats climb downspouts, what they gain from it, and how it can be prevented to avoid any inconvenience.

Read More about: Can Rats Climb Plastic Bins

Why Do Rats Climb?

Rats climb with the help of their feet, hands, and tails. This allows them to leap vertically as well as horizontally. Rats have sharp phalanges. 

This allows them to latch onto any available surface. A rat climbs to search for escape from a predator and look for food. 

Can Rats Climb Up Gutters?


Rats are swift animals and can easily climb up and down the drain pipes. The reason for doing this is to take refuge from the predators like cats and dogs.

It must be kept in mind that if the guttering is not flush with the floor and has a gap of about 3 to 4 inches from the bottom to the surface, it is a gateway for the rats to climb and investigate.

Do Rats Like Gutters?


Mice, rats, and squirrels utilize the gutters as nesting spots. However, it is not healthy that they breed and nest in there for long.

If they continue to do so, one day, they will be aware of all the openings into your house and will chew their way in. 

Can Rats Climb Downpipes?


Yes, the rats can climb downpipes too. As they are about a diameter of 68mm, a rat does not climb them specially. Instead, it just wriggles up in the pipe. 

This wriggling movement resembles the undulating locomotion of a snake. This means that a rat can easily access your roof space and go anywhere that it likes. 

Can Rats Climb Up The Side Of A House?

Yes, the rats can climb up the side of a house with the aid of a down sprout. Such drain pipes act as a physical link between the rat and the place, providing an indirect pathway for the rat to climb upwards.

A rat can ‘shimmy-up’ between the walls of a house and the drain pipes. This enables the rats to reach up and come down in no time.

How Do I Keep Rats Out Of My DownSpouts?

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Rats and mice can easily find and climb the gutters and downspouts. This way they can access any opening inside your house. You must protect your house against these little invaders. It can be done by:

  • Installing chicken wire or hardware cloth.
  • Using gutter screws to tighten the opening and base of a downspout
  • Installing a piece of Aluminum at the open ends
  • Using other galvanized metals around the line and at the opening.

Taking these measures will keep your house secure from rats, especially at night. A rat cannot re-enter the tube once it has been blocked. 

How Do Rats Get From Drains To House?

Sometimes even a little crack in the plastic is enough to welcome a small rat inside a pipe. Rats are good navigators. They will find their way up through small pipes. They do this by:

  • Climbing up the pipeline with their little feet
  • Sometimes the diameter of pipers is so narrow that rats can move up by pressing their bodies against the pipe.

When Do Rats Enter Homes?

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Rats have the exact reasons for entering the home as any other animal to search for the three basic things: 

  1. Food
  2. Shelter
  3. Water

As the rats are warm-blooded animals, they are always searching for a nice warm place to nest and settle down to breed. It is mainly during the night that a rat will enter a house. 

Do Gutter Guards Stop Rats?

A gutter mesh fixed at its opening will keep a rat and other small animals from the drain pipes and downspouts. This way, all pest-linked issues can be solved. 

Now, no more rats will be able to enter your home. Neither will you hear any scuttling noise inside the down sprouts. Moreover, peaceful nights will await you. 

What Can Rats Not Climb?

There are a lot of surfaces and types of pipes that a rat can climb; however, there are a few surfaces that a rat is unable to mount. This includes glass. 

A rat is not able to hold the surface of the glass tightly. It cannot grip it properly hence why it cannot climb it or come down through it. 

Who Is Responsible For Rats In Drains?

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If you have rats In your drains, then a local water company can help you eliminate them. You lookout for a crack in the drain pipes and must have them covered right away.

It would help if you also kept an eye out for the nesting areas of rats. If you prevent them from nesting, you can eventually drive them away. With a little bit of proper covering and repellents, it is easy to get rid of rats.

Down Sprout Stainer

They are readily available in the market. These filters can help prevent clogging inside your down sprout that any animal activity has caused.

A stainer will also prevent a rat from leaving the drain piper, and it will be trapped from one side. You can close the other end and then avail yourself of the opportunity of killing it once and for all.

Wrapping it up

Rats climb down sprouts to satisfy their nosy instinct. Rodents are always in search of food so that they can stock it. Moreover, they can only come out to climb up and down the walls during the night. 

You can use preventive measures to keep the rodents away. Otherwise, they will find your house’s inlets and make their way inside your territory. 


US Department of Energy