Can Rats Come Through Air Vents [Yes, But How To Stop Them]

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Rats prefer to get inside your home for refuging shelter, particularly during severe weather conditions. As the air ducts of your AC is dark in color, it attracts rat to reside. If your AC is not working well, you may wonder; Can rats come through air vents?

Yes, rats can squeeze through your air vents. From fireplace vents to AC vents, rats use them as personal property. After looting your food sources, the rats seek sanctuary in your air ducts and cause a hygienic threat to your health.

Now the question is why rats are getting into air vents. This article will clear your doubts and provide you with all the pertinent details about rats in your air vents.

Why Do Rats Enter Vents?

Rats Enter Vents

Rats like to live in ductwork by gnawing a hole or looking for an unlocked entry. They establish themselves and utilize these vents as their private thoroughfare to enter various places in your house.

Rats are always in search of three things: Food, Shelter, and Water. In addition to offering a secure environment for rats to reside in, the material used to construct air vents also gives them everything they need.

Rats can reach your air ducts at any time once they have gained entry to underground places in your home. Thus, vents give them a place to dwell, a place to hide, and a path through to your home to get food. So, you must repair the entry points of vents to prevent rats from entering.

How Do Rats Get into Air Vents?

Rats Get into Air Vents

If you’re not cautious, rats can gnaw through vent covers and enter your home directly. Rats can get into air vents in the following ways:

By Chewing Vent Covers and Electrical Wires

Rats can get into air vents by chewing electrical wires, vent covers, and refrigerant lines of your AC. To stop rats from accessing your air conditioning system, you must seal the electrical cables and pipes near your vents.

Through Food Odor

Rats have a strong sense of smell. They may attract to your home by the food odors that frequently emanate from your kitchen vents. So, you need to close your kitchen vents to stop rats from smelling the attractive scent of food.

Through Cracks in Your Air Vents

Cracks in Your Air Vents

Rats can enter a vent through a crack of around 2 inches. So, if you see cracks in your air vents, you must close them. Any opening or hole makes it easier for rats to move inside. Above all, seal any potential ground-level openings by keeping a close eye on places where vents are damaged.

Through Poor Insulation of AC Condenser

Sometimes the covering or insulation of your AC exterior may leave openings. These openings are perfect entry points for rats. You can close them with the help of a professional pest control company.

Through Tracking Footprints

Once the rats get their way into your vents, it is easier for them to enter again by tracking their pathways.  Rats are clever household pests. They leave their urine marks and droppings to find their way around. Therefore, you must regularly clean the area around your air vents to keep rats out of their tracks.

Through Opening of Doors

As already mentioned, rats can enter an opening of 2 inches. Rats can go inside if you don’t close your room’s door or if there are any cracks in it. Once they enter your room, they can make their way to your vents. Thus, you can use door sweeps to block your room doors so rats can’t get inside.

Through Water Leakage

Rats are always in search of food and water. They need water besides food to survive. If your air vents have the problem of water leakage and stay moist, rats can attack them to fulfill their thirst. For this reason, you must keep the area dry around your air or AC vents.

How Do You Know If There Is a Rat in Your Air Vents?

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The best way to keep rats out of your air vents is to know the reason and symptoms of their infestation. Here are the top signs of rats in your air vents:

Rotting Smell

You may tell that you have a rat infestation in your air ducts by more than just the presence of pee and droppings. The rotting smell is one of the great signs that rats are residing in your air vents. Rats can spread this odor by eating dead insects and their urine.

At times rats chew on the wrong wiring or decide to spend their dying moments in your air ducts after consuming some poison. Whatever the cause, the pungent odor will be revolting, unclean, and a surefire indication of a rat infestation in your air vents. 

An Emergent Flies and Insects Issue

Emergent Flies

In addition to the rotten smell, insects, especially flies, is a sign of rat activity if you suddenly see an infestation of them around your vents. Flies frequently present around dead rats include blow flies and flesh flies. They increase their number by laying eggs on dead rats. 

Consequently, if you notice a swarm of such flies in your home, call a pest control technician for pest control services and confirmation of a rat infestation.

Poor Functioning of AC

If you have a rat infestation in your air vents, you may notice that your air conditioner is not cooling your room effectively as before. Rats cause severe destruction to your air condenser,   making it harder for it to remove heat, causing your room to stay warm.

If you are facing such a problem, you need to check the outer of your AC for any breakage. To deal with the infestation, you must implement rodent control if you discover rodent droppings and missing sections of attic insulation.

Munching and Creeping Noises

When rats and other furry guests get in your duct system, usually through holes in the duct work and cracks in your home’s exterior, it presents several problems. You can hear crawling or creeping noises when rats move through your air ducts.

As rats like to chew wires of the duct systems, you may notice their munching or gnawing noises that may hinder your sleep.

Track Prints

Another sign of rats in your home and your vents is their footsteps. As the rats move along the air ducts and break the wires, they leave their marks behind. Noticing such signs is the best indicator of a rat infestation in your air vents.

Fortunately, you can get rid of rats by placing traps or poison along the way of rats by tracing their track prints.

Broken Ducts

Broken Ducts

Rats are known for destroying homes and furniture physically. They can easily chew the side material of your air vents to make their way around. Rats may dwell everywhere there is food, and if you see holes in your air ducts and food storage containers, they are probably there.

Rats need to gnaw things to keep their teeth in good condition. Hence, if you notice any marks of broken ducts, you may call a professional rodent control service to remove rats.

Sudden Health Problems and Allergy Issues


According to the Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal & Valuation, rats pose a severe risk to your health and safety and can damage your property if you don’t control them. Pest world claims that rats are the source of 35 diseases in human beings. They can cause Hantavirus, Plague, leptospirosis, and various deadly diseases.

Rats in air vents can bring in a variety of germs that can spread throughout your home, degrading the quality of indoor air. As things go, you may have symptoms of allergies and other respiratory problems. You must be aware of the following symptoms if you have a rat infestation:

  • Stomach issues
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Sneezing and coughing

How to Stop Rats from Chewing AC Wires?

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Rats love to chew the wires of your air conditioner. You can adapt the below steps to prevent rats from entering the AC and gnawing wiring.

  • First, you need to install a wiring network to prevent your vents cover and flues from rats.
  • You can buy a customized mess cover for this purpose.
  • To stop rats from exploiting holes and cracks, you can seal air ducts with pest-proof covers.
  • Besides preventing rats from entering, sealing ducts may stop other animals from building their nests inside the air vents.
  • Furthermore, lowering moisture around your AC vents will also lessen the chance of rats entering and chewing your AC wires.

How to Stop Rats from Entering Through Air Vents?

Rats may go into your air vents looking for food and a place to sleep. Although rats frequently perish inside these ducts, they can disperse an offensive odor throughout your living space. Take the following actions if you find rats in your air vents.

Regular Cleaning of Air Ducts

Regular cleaning of air ducts is the best approach to evaluating your ductwork, cleaning your air, and sterilizing it for better indoor air quality. You need to clean your air ducts because even after the rats are gone, their remains, such as hair and urine, continue to contaminate them.

Although you can clean your air ducts, calling a professional to remove debris is the best choice. These experts use different methods for cleaning vents, such as tools to remove remnants and air vacuum. They may also use various chemicals to eliminate leftovers of rats inside your air vents.

Self-vacuuming the ducts will only transfer the leftovers of rats rather than get rid of them, putting you in a horrible scenario. Therefore, it’s better to call professional duct cleaners and let them job their task.

Remove Rats from Vents Instantly

Removing rats is the best approach to keep them out of your vents. If you find a rat in your air ducts, you can remove it by obeying the below tips:

  • First, you need to switch off your AC to prevent the transmission of contaminated air throughout your home.
  • After that, remove the sealing of vents and insert a snap trap or glue trap with some cheese to trap a rat.
  • Regularly inspect the traps during the night and in the morning.
  • If you discover dead rats in your trap, put on gloves and discard them in plastic sacks. Remember, you must sanitize your hands after the whole procedure.
  • Continue this procedure until there are no signs of a rat infestation in your air vents.
  • Additionally, you can not use poison to kill rats since it is dangerous for your health.

Install a Pest-Proof Air Conditioner Cover

Poor Functioning of AC

Keeping rats away is one of the stressful problems, especially when they become out of your control. So, it’s better to take precautions to stop rats from entering through your air vents.

The key to keeping your air conditioner in excellent operating condition is to keep outdoor animals and rats from reaching and harming the A/C unit or interfering with the wiring and lines that link to it. 

The best way is to use pest-proof air vent covers to prevent rats from getting into them. To help keep mice and rats out of your AC unit, use mesh shields or specific coverings built for air vents and flue pipes. You can buy pest-proof air conditioner covers from your nearby marketplace.

Block the Entry Points of Air Vents

Covering and blocking the entry points of air ducts prevent rats from entering your vents. Use rodent-proof vent covers to seal the opening of air vents. Make sure vent covers are firmly attached because little rodents can get inside by tugging the lid.

To prevent rats or other pests from entering your AC system and the interior of your property, there must be no holes, cracks, or huge disconnections in the duct system. Rats can get into your vents depending on the size of the ducts. They find it easier to enter if the air vents are larger.

So, it is necessary to block the opening of air vents to stop rats from getting into air vents.

Protect the Exterior of the AC

Rats can cause severe damage to the exterior of your AC. They can ruin components of your air conditioner by gnawing, clawing, peeing, and more. If you switch on the air conditioning while they are inside, the system can even be destroyed.

The best way to protect your AC condenser is to stop rats from roaming around it. Keep the space around your external air conditioning unit clean and free of any vegetation that can tempt mice or rats. Inspect the area around electrical wires and refrigerant lines for indications of rats gnawing, droppings, or urine.

Further, you can use warm water to clean the area around the exterior of your AC condenser.

Dry Up the Area Around the Air Conditioner

Rats and other pests may enter the air conditioning unit because of moisture proliferation around it. Rats are always in search of something to eat and drink. The dampness gives them something to drink that keeps rats hydrated.

Prevention is better than killing the rats, so eliminate any puddles of rain or moisture that may form close to your AC unit. Water dripping around your AC unit may draw animals like mice, rats, and snakes. Additionally, this might encourage termite activity.

Thus, it is better to dry up the area surrounding the AC unit.  You can use a sponge to absorb water dripping around the exterior of the AC.

Preserve Your HVAC System


You can avoid rat infestation by performing routine HVAC maintenance. By following the below tips, you can preserve your HVAC system:

  • First, clean the area around the exterior of your HVAC system.
  • To prevent rats and other animals from getting near your air conditioner, cut any foliage in the surrounding area.
  • Additionally, remove the long tree branches since rodents can enter your attic by traveling down them.
  • Keep the space around your HVAC moisture free because it may be a great source of rats’ attraction.
  • Moreover, to keep your HVAC system in good condition, check it by a professional once a year.

Prevent Rats from Getting into Your Property

One of the best steps to stop rats from entering your air vents is to prevent them from moving into your home and property. The best way to prevent rats from entering your home is to take proactive measures. You can stop rats from making their way into your home in these ways:

  • To keep rats out of your property, seal any gaps or holes you see.
  • Remove all the food sources from the exterior of your home that can lure rats.
  • Cut all the vegetation around your home or property so rats cannot hide in them.
  • Set a glue or snap-trap to capture rats.
  • Use rat repellents to deter rats away from your home.
  • Moreover, you can use poison outside your house to prevent rats from getting into your home.

Contact a Professional Pest Control & Vent Service

Professional Pest Control

It’s recommended to contact a professional pest control and duct provider for cleaning and repairs following successful rat extermination. The best course of action is to call a professional pest control firm if you are not an expert in rat removal. 

After removing the rats, their remnants may leave inside your air ducts. To clean them properly, you must hire a reputable vent service to get reliable and shiny results. After cleaning by a professional vent service, you may feel at ease that the air in your home is clean now.

Bottom Line

Rats are one of the most irritating pests in your home. They tend to stay in your air vents for food and shelter. Rats eat everything they find, but when they start chewing the electrical wires of your AC unit, your home safety will be at risk. Moreover, they can also cause serious health issues.

It may be difficult to keep rats away from your air vents, however; with the help of the above guidelines, you can easily rat-proof your air vents and enjoy an ideal home climate. If you find this information handy, hit us in the comment section below.