Will a rat in the attic have a nest of babies?

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One of the biggest reasons behind a rat entering your home or commercial property, is to find a place that they can give birth to their young, and then take care of them for a while. Every pregnant female rat out there is looking for a place to call her home for a while, and that's often what encourages them to come inside in the first place. That and the fact that you keep leaving food around for them to eat, of course. That's why there are so many rats in more residential areas these days.

Any wild animal problem becomes even more difficult when there are youngsters involved, and you will need to take these young into consideration when you make your move to get rid of them. If you get rid of the mother, what will happen to her young? They will die of starvation if they are really young, and then you'll have a nest of dead rats to find and get rid of. This is why we would never recommend using methods such as live cage traps and poisons to kill these rodents. It only really solves half the problem, if it even gets that far at all, and when you bear in mind that most of these animals are expectant mothers, you can appreciate the very big problem you'll soon have on your hands.

Before you make your move removing ANY wild animal in your home, rats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, bats, etc., you should always check the legalities in your area. It is illegal to kill certain animals in certain states, and with bats in particular, it is illegal to try and move them while they are nesting, or during the nesting / maternity periods. These are not things you will generally need to take into consideration with vermin such as rats, but the babies are still something you’ll need to think about, on top of everything else.

If you have learned where the baby rats are, either using a professional wildlife control expert to help you, or using your own eyes and ears, you can try capturing them, wearing gloves, and then using them to work as bait in order to catch the mother. This only works if you go through the process of sealing up all the damage, cracks and holes that they are using to gain entrance, however. Without that, your hard work will be fruitless. The rats, and other animals alongside it, will soon come back again.

Although it's not a pleasant thought, using exclusion methods and waiting for the young to become old enough to leave of their own accord is the best advice we could give you. There's a good chance you won't be able to find the babies on their own anyway, and they reach maturity in around five weeks or so - by that point, they will be old enough to leave the nest, and have babies of their own too!

Rats can have up to five litters per year in ideal conditions, and ideal conditions are places such as your home, and busy towns. All busy towns have thriving rat communities within them these days, and a 2015 study provide that 18% of all homes in Philadelphia alone showed serious signs of an infestation of rodents. By sealing up the holes and cracks, and using one “exclusion door” as your rat prevention of choice, you are taking a natural and humane approach to getting rid of the vermin you really don't want in your home - mothers, fathers, and babies included!

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.

Read more educational guides I wrote:
Do rats hide from humans?
How to get free rat removal
How to find and remove a dead rat
What should I do if I find a nest of rats in the attic?

If you have any questions or comments, e-mail me at david@attic-rat.com