What Should You Do if You Have Rats in the Attic?

Attic where roof rats can live in Baton Rouge LA homes - Dugas Pest Control

It sounds like something that only happens in scary movies: rats and mice in the attic. Interestingly, the most common critter to enter attics is the rat, so it’s important to take any obvious signs – noise, scratching, odors – seriously.

Since rats entering attics is so common, we know a lot about how to safely trap and remove them. If you suspect that rats are making a home within your home, you need to take care of the problem quickly, as rats and mice can cause serious problems by chewing through electrical wires and be carriers of disease.

How Do I Know if there are Rats in My Attic?

Generally, people begin to suspect that there are mice or rats in the attic when they hear scratching or other noises from above. But, it’s also easy for these sounds to go unnoticed if you have a busy household. Be sure to know all the signs of a rat infestation so that you can be an informed judge if and when the time comes.

  • Scratching noises in the attic

  • Scratching noises in the walls

  • Skittering, clunking, squeaking noises

  • Rat/mice droppings

  • Chewed electrical wires

  • Chewed piping

  • Open holes or gaps where mice/rats may be getting in

I Have Rats in My Attic. Now What?

Once you have confirmed that there are rats in the attic, it’s time to get moving with a trap and removal program. Here are a few tactics that should NOT be used, as they are either harmful or will cause further problems.


  • Poison

  • Mothballs

  • Ammonia

  • Ultrasonic sound emitters

  • Strobe lights


The best way to solve a rat or mouse infestation involves the following steps:

1. Seal up all holes or gaps where the rats may be getting in. Inspect your home from the ground up, and identify all areas that provide an entrance into your home. This includes vents, eave gaps, roof lines and so on. Seal up the holes using something like steel that the mice can’t chew through. For additional protection, consider adding a sealant that blocks off all air flow so that the rats aren’t attracted to your home.

2. Trap the rats using snap traps. This should only be done once the holes have been sealed off, as new rats will just keep coming in. Set the traps in areas where the rats commonly run around. Identify these heavily traveled areas by looking for paths that are covered in grease and droppings or are worn down. Set down about a dozen traps to get the job done quickly.

3. Monitor the traps and reset them. You don’t want the rats to smell up your home, so check them every day, remove the dead rats and reset the traps. You will want to repeat this step until you hear no more noises coming from the attic or walls.

4. Clean up the attic. When all the mice are gone, you’ll need to damage control. Clean up droppings, identify chewed electrical wires and pipes and remove nesting material.

When Should I Call in a Professional Rodent Exterminator?

For some people, taking care of this job is much too intense. That’s when a company like Dugas Pest Control can be especially helpful. We will handle the initial inspection, elimination and exclusion of the rats so that you can have peace of mind without the hassle. Our technicians go above and beyond to ensure that all gaps and holes are sealed and that the traveling patterns of the mice are carefully identified.

Also, rodents are notoriously smart when it comes to detecting traps and are known to become “trap shy”, thus making it easier to capture then in the beginning rather than after months of failed DIY attempts.

Additionally, we clean and sanitize the space so that you don’t have to worry about parasitic infections, diseases or mold becoming a problem down the road. We even provide a follow-up to be certain that no rats have returned and that all sealed entry points are successfully keeping out rodents.