Rats Like Clean Homes Too!

A rodent infestation can, without much of a stretch, turn into a tiring and costly ordeal.  With rats and mice in your house, you and your family’s health are at stake too because the infestation brings a variety of contagious diseases and harmful parasites along with it.

But the question is, why are the rodents attracted to your house. Well, the answer is simple. They are looking for food, water, and shelter. If your house provides those for the rodents, then you will be faced with a rodent infestation at some point.

Of course, rodents aren’t exactly picky eaters or worry too much about their living conditions. As long as they have access to random crumbs and bits and pieces of food, along with a few dark and hard to reach spots to hide in, they should be happy.

Rat and mice are most commonly known nuisance rodent for their tendency to contaminate food and chewing anything they get their teeth on. They chew everything from electrical wires to PVC pipes, causing severe damage. They are super noisy and dirty, as they leave behind the traces of their waste such as feces and urine.

Entering your house

Rodents are incredibly talented climbers, acrobats, and runners. Finding entrance into your house is a piece of cake for them. They find their way in through gaps under doors and windows, unsealed cracks and holes, sewer lines, gas lines, plumbing lines, any gap between any of these structures can leave your home vulnerable to rodent invasion. Rats have a short gestation period, around 3 weeks. Once they get an entry in your house and they give birth to their young ones, before you know it, there will be more hungry rats feeding on your leftover food and dwelling in your house.

Left Out Food

Obviously, food is the number one reason on our list because rodents are attracted to food. We are not talking about food in terms of what you eat. Dirty dishes and leftover food are a feast for rats and mice. Rodents are extremely persistent invaders, a slightest of recklessness from your side can cause an infestation of rodents. They happily feast on pet food, leftover food, and even decayed meat. A word of advice from our side would be that, don’t leave your dirty dishes unattended, ensure that food products are sealed and stored well, don’t leave pet food out overnight.

Ripe fruits and vegetables in your garden also attract rats and mice. Food items that leave a residue such as bird feeders and nuts and fruit that fall from the tree, are a perfect food source for them. They are no picky eaters, so they will eat almost anything that is edible and nourishing.

Norway Rat
Norway Rat

Attracted To Clutter

Mess and clutter make the ideal residency for rodents. Unkempt lawn, tall grass or weeds and cluttered surrounding prove to be the best nesting places for rat and mice. Holes in floor and walls become their favorite hideout. These pesky and skittish rodents are hunters who hunt at night while peacefully sleep in their hideouts in the day time. The mess and clutter gathered around the house give them space to hide, build a nest and keep them unseen. Since such comfort is available to them, the rodents find no reason to leave the place and thus infest.

Sneaky Rat
Sneaky Rat

Humidity, Moisture, and Warmth

During winter, they search for warmth, so no matter how much you keep your house clean, they will find one or another to get inside your house. since the weather outside gets colder they dig holes, climb the fence, they can even squeeze themselves in through tight spots just to get access inside your house. They usually enter through gaps underneath garage doors or gaps around wires entering structures or roof vents. In search of warmth, they invade your house and never leave. They also need water, and even a small amount of water is enough for them to carry on their business for a long period of time. Check for any leak pipes or stored moisture because it also attracts rats and mice. Laundry area, garage, and garden sheds are areas that need to be inspected.  There are more chances of rodent infestation in these areas. Also, leaving your pet water bowl outside and not covering your water pool, may attract them.

Poor Sanitation

piles of rubbish, garbage bags, and trash bins are favorite places of rats and mice. Poor sanitation encourages them to move in and infest your house because they are a means of easy access to food and water. Rats and mice are associated with unhygienic spaces, which are best for them to breed in and dwell. These scavengers hunt places which fit their criteria and if you have garbage and bits of food scattered around the house, it will satisfy their requirement and your house will be at risk of infestation. It is important to keep your house clean and garden attended if you want to avoid the rodent infestation.

Shelter within and around the house

Another important reason for rats and mice to infest is shelter. They are constantly searching for shelter to build a safe and secure nest for their young ones. When running away from predators or harsh weather conditions they look for a safe place and squeeze through incredibly small and tight spaces to enter your house. they enter through gaps in doors and windows, unsealed holes and cracks. Outside the house, piles of firewood serve as best shelter for them. Any shrubs and bushes around your house can turn into their hideout.


Predation of rodents can also push them into your house. This is something that you can not control, but this is another possible reason why you are experiencing rodent infestation. If we talk about rats, they are predators to mice which means rats hunt down mice. If you are experiencing mouse infestation you may be at risk of rat infestation as well, because mouse attracts rats.

Unkempt Lawns

What’s better than a secure place for your young ones and food source available to you just a few feet away. Unkempt lawns are the best spot for rats and mice to build a nest for their young ones. The rotting vegetation, ripe produce of unharvested garden and fruit and nuts lying around, is nothing more than a safe haven for rodents, who seek food and refuge both. We are pretty sure that they would love to nest under piles of leaves, tall grass, shrubs and flowers.

History of un-sanitized Rodent infestation

This may not cross your mind but if you still have traces of the previous infestation left in your house, unfortunately, you are at great risk of getting another rodent infestation soon. Rats and mice like to dwell in familiar areas, knowing that the place has been infested previously by their own species, reassures them that this place is safe and secure, and most suitable for dwelling and nesting. If you have a history of rodent infestations and you haven’t sanitized your house yet, then we suggest, you sanitize your home ASAP to prevent another pack of rodents to infest your house.

Rodent infestation can cause a substantial amount of damage, if it’s not dealt with promptly. They damage internal structures, furnishing, contaminate food, damage insulation, and wiring. Prevention is better than cure, for this reason, we have listed above all the possible reasons that might result in an infestation of rats and mice. It is better to learn about all the reasons which cause them to come inside your home and watch out for any signs of infestation. Food and shelter are the most common reasons that push rodents inside your home. Gaining entry into your house is not a big deal for them, they can squeeze through a hole as small as a quarter of an inch.  The best way to prevent infestation is to keep your house tidy and clean. Don’t let garbage pile up, don’t leave your leftover food uncovered and seal all the cracks you find. You might as well need a pet cat to keep rats and mice away from your home.

Dusty Showers has been in the urban nuisance wildlife and pest control field since 1993. Taught by Garon Fyffe, a pioneer in humane nuisance wildlife management, Dusty has a passion for finding humane solutions to human & wildlife conflicts. Dusty was the only individual invited by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission in the lat 1990's to help write legislation for legal protection of Florida bats. With an instinct for solving wildlife, Dusty found pest control to be an easy "add-on interest". Dusty started his first business "Animal Instincts Wildlife & Pest Management" in the Tampa Bay, Florida area in 1995. Eventually selling Animal Instincts in 2002, Dusty went on to start Creepy Creatures Termite and Pest Control in 2009, which he still owns and operates today in Palm Harbor, Florida.