Where Do Rats Hide in a House [ 14 Common Places]

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Rats don’t get into hibernation in winter; instead, they search for warm spots to spend the cold months. In winter, rats become aware of your warm home and access it through the slightest openings. If you want to get rid of them, it’s vital to know; where do rats hide in a house?

Rats can hide anywhere for food, shelter, and water. During the worst weather conditions, they used to hide in your house. You can find them in your home from the garage to the attics and rooftops.

Do you have a sign of rat infestation in your house and want to get them out of their hiding places? First, let’s examine some of their preferred hiding spots.

Common Hiding Places for Rats

Rats are adept at hiding. Because of their rapid reproduction, they are widespread throughout the world. However, some areas of your home appeal to them more than others. Here are some of their favorite places to hide:

  • Walls of Your House
  • Nests in Attics
  • Air Vents or HVAC System
  • Basements of Your House
  • Inside Garage
  • Inside Kitchen
  • Drains and Sewerage
  • Storage Containers
  • Behind Refrigerators
  • Cracks in Ceilings
  • Trash Bins
  • Inside Furniture
  • Closets
  • Under Wash Basins

Walls of Your House

Rats must live inside your house walls if you hear scratching or creeping sounds from them. They live inside your walls to stay invisible or to build their nests. When rats enter your walls, they start gnawing at the installed electrical lines, which may cut off all your electrical connections. As a result, your house may be set on fire.

Another sign of rats inside your walls is the rotting smell of dead ones. So, you should block all the holes in your walls to keep rats out of your walls.

Nests in Attics

An attic is a place below the roof of your house. If you have left some space in your house ceilings, there are high chances of rats’ attack. Rats love to live in attics because they are separate from other parts of your home. They are skilled climbers and can quickly find their way to attics to establish nests. 

The common signs of rats in your attics are the presence of their feces and dirt on your ground. If you find such marks, you must kick rats out by trapping them or closing all the entry points to your attics.

Air Vents or HVAC System

Rats are fond of dark places. Your HVAC system or vents attract them due to their darker color and warm environment. The covering or insulation of your air vents is the best place to hide rats.

They are used to move inside your air ducts by chewing electrical wires or through cracks in ducts’ covers. Additionally, they can quickly destroy your AC system by gnawing, eating, ripping apart, and peeing on its insulation.

Closing any entry points for rats to your vents is the best course of action because prevention is better than cure.

Basements of Your House

You frequently use the basement of your house to store your food supplies. As rats are always looking for food, you can find them freely in your basements. These locations are also notorious for being warm, wet, and dark, which attracts rats.

If you think there may be rats in your basement, try to find any drainage holes or openings. The best action you can take is to seal off the gaps or to use rat poison that is harmful to them.

Inside Garage

The garage is one of the favorite places for rats to conceal in your home. Rats can find their way to the garage through little spaces in your garage door. Once inside, they begin eating or biting on everything they discover, including food and the wires in your cars.

To keep rats away from your garage, you should close your garage doors with brush seals. You can purchase them easily from your nearby market.

Inside Kitchen

Rats are scroungers, so they love to hide in the kitchen for food. They usually find their way into your kitchen through the power supply hole of your stove and openings of walls. You can find them in your food storage cans, sink, and behind the cabinets of your kitchen.

Since rats typically enter a space where food is available, regular cleaning or washing of the kitchen will aid in preventing rat infestation. Furthermore, try to store food in metal containers to prevent food leakage.

Drains and Sewerage

Rats can fit through openings that are around 3.7 cm wide. It makes them good at hiding in pipes in your drainage system. Additionally, rats have exceptional swimming abilities and can enter your bathroom through sewerage pipes.

You should close all the drains with a metal screen to stop rats from getting into your toilets. Moreover, to throw away rats from your drainage system, try to use rat traps with their favorite bait to capture them.

Storage Containers

Storage containers are vulnerable to a rat infestation. Whether storage boxes are in your kitchen or another room of your home, rats can readily access them. Rats can build their home in your storage boxes by making a hole in the cardboard boxes. They usually find storage boxes in your basements, attics, and kitchen.

The best way to keep your storage boxes safe from rats is to seal them with metal pieces or use a metal storage container instead of cardboard.

Behind Refrigerators

As already said, rats prefer to live near food, shelter, and water. Since refrigerators produce heat through their radiators and can store nesting materials underneath, places such as behind or under the refrigerators provide the best habitats for rats at home. Rats can damage your refrigerators by gnawing at the insulation and wires of it.

Thus, you should use bait traps to kick rats out of your refrigerators and let your refrigerators safe and soon.

Cracks in Ceilings

Rats are proficient climbers and can easily make their way to the ceilings of your home. According to American Pest Control, Inc, if rats are present in the roof ceilings, they have already established a nest and started reproducing. They find their way to your home ceilings via holes and cracks in the roof.

If you find any sign of rat presence, such as rat droppings and urine on your floor, call a professional pest control company to eliminate them from your roof.

Trash Bins

Rats are nuisance pests because they are adaptable little critters that can get into almost anything. Trash bins are the favorite places for rats to stay. The alluring smell of garbage cans attracts them as they have a strong sense of smell.

According to Wildlife Education & Directory of Wildlife Experts, you can prevent rats from entering your trash bins by regularly emptying them or keeping them close with a metal cover.

Inside Furniture

Rats like to hide in furniture more than any other place in your house. Although it’s doubtful that a rat builds a nest in your favorite chair, they may take advantage of furniture in your attic or basement. Rats first enter your furniture without difficulty, then gnaw on the items you have stored there.

Try to set a trap inside your furniture if you see signs that rats are contaminating any of your goods or food. It will catch the rats and prevent them from wreaking more damage to your furniture.


Since rats want to avoid regularly populated locations, they typically hide from view. Your closets are one of their favorite places to hide because you check them the least.

Although you use your wardrobes frequently, you hardly go from top to bottom for deep analysis. Moreover, rats love your cupboard because of the fabrics to build their nests. Checking your cupboards regularly for holes is a best practice to keep rats away from your closets.

Under Wash Basins

Rats are fond of your kitchen sinks and wash basins because of the presence of food particles and water. If water is dripping under the sink, you may be more vulnerable to rats in this area because the dampness may give them something to drink.

Thus, clean your washbasins frequently, and seal any openings to prevent rats from getting inside.

How to Tell How Many Rats Are in Your House?

Having a rat infestation in your house is upsetting to know. You might not even be aware that you have rats until you notice one of their numerous telltale signs because they are incredibly invasive and can get into the small cracks around dwellings.

Although it’s impossible to count the number of rats in your house, you can make a guess based on the following clues:

You can use these clues to estimate the presence of Rats in your Home

  • By Sighting the Rats
  • By Noticing the Size of Rats
  • By the Number of Droppings
  • By the Gender
  • By the Number of Nests
  • By the Scratch and Bite Marks

By Sighting the Rats

If you see one rat during the day, there is probably another rat in the wall that is either carrying or expected to carry offspring. There is only one rat if you see it at night without any noise. The presence of two or more rats during the daytime indicates rat infestation.

Rats make an effort to hide from view.  Thus, the more you see rats, the more likely the infestation is quite widespread.

By Noticing the Size of Rats

You can tell the number of rats in your house by looking at their size. If the size of the rat you see is 46cm, there must be more rats around. A 19 cm-long rat emerging from your storage area can indicate more than four rats inside.  Moreover, a rat might be sick if you see it moving slowly in your house.

By the Number of Droppings

The quantity of droppings is an excellent indicator of the number of rats in your home. Finding rat droppings of different sizes indicates the presence of both younger and older rats. If there are few droppings, only one rat is causing your home’s peace to be disturbed. When the situation is the opposite, there are several rats present.

By the Gender

You can know the number of rats in your house by closely inspecting their gender. There is a chance of one rat if the rat is male. If the rat is female with a size of more than 46cm, there must be more rats living around. However, knowing the gender of the rat is difficult, but it can undoubtedly assist in finding their numbers.

By the Number of Nests

A nest alone indicates that there are quite a few rats in your house. A family of rats is present if you discover a single nest with several different nesting materials. However, less nesting stuff indicates a lesser number of rats. Therefore, finding a few nesting items tells the presence of just one male or female rat.

By the Scratch and Bite Marks

Several scratches and bite marks are a sign of many rats. If you occasionally step on a scratch or a bite in your flooring, it’s usually just a little colony of rats. However, there are probably many rats present if you see sizable holes in your walls and a lump missing from the corners of your wooden furniture.

How to Get a Rat Out of Hiding Places?

Rats are nocturnal rodents. They usually come out of their hiding places at night. If numerous rats live in your house, getting them out of their shelters is a huge task. Here are the ways that can help you in moving rats out of their places:

  • Use Allurements
  • Use Rat Repellents
  • Pet Cat
  • Contact Pest Control Service

Use Allurements

The best way to move rats out of their hiding places is to use a trap with their favorite bait. You can use a piece of cheese and peanut butter as bait to attract rats. However, cheese doesn’t function as well as peanut butter, primarily because cheese blocks are simple for a rat to remove from the trap.

Further, you can also utilize other things like bread, almonds, berries, fresh fruit, and vegetables to allure rats out of their shelters.

Use Rat Repellents

Rats have acute eyesight and senses of smell that help them locate food. They have sharp nostrils that make them sensitive to strong odors. You can use natural repellents like peppermint oil, eucalyptus, and citronella to get rats out of their hiding places.

These remedies give short-term benefits but can also be beneficial when paired with other pest control methods.

Cut Their Food Supply

A rat has no motive to leave if it has access to food, water, and materials for nesting close by. Try to store all food items like grains and pet food in metal containers to deter rats. Keep all the cardboard and fabrics rats might use as nesting materials out of their reach.

In short, make your home as hostile as possible, and rats will eventually emerge from hiding in search of their items.

Pet Cat

If there is a rat in the house, be at ease, your cat will discover it because cats are excellent hunters. Moreover, if it does not hunt, a rat will leave the area as soon as it sees your cat. If you don’t have a cat, you can use their litter boxes to move rats out of their places because rats dislike the smell of cats’ urine.

Contact Pest Control Service

If a rat infestation in your home becomes worse to handle, you can call a professional pest control service to kill rats by getting them out of their hiding places. They use professional methods to move rats out of their shelters, including traps and natural rat repellents.


Where Do Rats Hide During the Day in a House?

During the day, rats prefer to conceal themselves in areas that are hidden away and aren’t frequently disturbed. In homes, you can find them in your attics, kitchen cabinets, rooftops, insulation of your air vents, bathroom sinks, trash bins, garage, basements, and anywhere there is food supply.
Outside of the house, rats bury themselves, under waste accumulations, in trash cans, trees, and sewers. Additionally, you can find them in gutters, wood stacks, and the underbrush of trees and shrubs.

Where Do Rats Hide in the Kitchen?

Rats always seek food, water, and a place to call home. Your kitchen is the best source of food for rats. Once rats get their way into your kitchen, they love to reside in your stoves, food containers, pipes of your kitchen skin, under your refrigerator, and behind your kitchen cabinets.
Above all, their favorite food source is your cabinets, where they can easily gnaw through bags and bundles to get to the treats inside.

Do Rats Hide from Humans?

Yes, the Animals in your Attic claim that rats conceal themselves from people for the same reasons as any wild predator because of security threats. Rats are infamous for being a source of fear, yet they are also generally wary of people. As humans are active during the daytime, rats come out of their places during the night to stay invisible.

Do Rats Hide from Light?

No, rats don’t hide from the light, but they love to stay active at night due to their nocturnal and staying behind the scene nature. Rats avoid brightness, but if you throw a light on them, they might flee—possibly not from the light itself, but from being seen.
The fact is that rats are accustomed to both dark and light environments means that you can see them when it is sunny outside.

Why Do Rats Suddenly Disappear?

Rats suddenly disappear because of two reasons. One is the absence of food and water source, and the other is the presence of a musky or pungent odor. Above all, rats cannot vanish unless you cut off their food supplies, block all the holes, clean your home, and remove all the attractions of rats from your home and property, including moisture, pet food, and debris.

Wrapping Up

Rats can hide anywhere in your house. They find it easy to get inside your homes, especially if there are cracks and holes in various locations. Furthermore, they search for other hiding spots and continue to eat the food as long as they can locate it near your house.

Hopefully, this post will answer all your questions about rat infestations in homes and how to flush them out of their hiding spots. Lastly, Instead of imagining where rats could hide, you should implement rodent control techniques.