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Home Blog  5 Signs You Might Have a Rat Problem at Your Baltimore Home

5 Signs You Might Have a Rat Problem at Your Baltimore Home

Jan 27, 2022

Addressing rat infestations early on is essential. These animals can not only damage your property, but they can also pose health risks for the people living in it. If the issue gets out of control, eliminating rats and repairing the damage they leave behind can become costly fast. 

But when you know what to look for, you can catch a rodent infestation before it gets serious. 

What You Should Know About Rats 

It’s easy to confuse juvenile rats with adult mice. But when you see an adult rat, the difference is clear. While mice are generally under seven inches long, rats can grow up from twenty inches long from nose to tail. 

Rats also have pointier, less-rounded ears than a mouse, as well as a fully hairless tail. 

These rodents can spread diseases such as hantavirus, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, bubonic plague, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. While rats generally won’t bite unless you provoke them, they can still spread these viruses through their feces or fleas. 

They tend to leave droppings in the same area of your home, not scattered throughout. Rats will also have a designated path from their nest that they use to get to food sources or water sources. 

Signs of a Rat Problem 

Do you think you might have a rat infestation? Here are some common signs to keep a watch for. 


A bunch of rat droppings on dirty yellow flooring

Rat droppings are black or dark brown. They’re usually between ½ an inch and ¾ an inch long. They have a shiny exterior and look similar to grains of rice. 

You’ll often find these droppings under kitchen sinks, inside cabinets, or near trash cans. 

Foul Odor 

As rats urinate and defecate on your property, it creates a foul odor over time. If you notice the smell of ammonia in your home, it could be from rat urine. However, this scent is also common in mice infestations. 

If a rat dies in your home, that can also cause a foul odor, often much stronger than that of rat waste. It may smell a bit like sewage.

Foot, Tail, Rub, or Grease Markings 

The oils on a rat’s fur and skin can leave behind grease marks in your home. Because rats tend to follow the same route every day, you might notice a greasy trail on your walls or floors. 

Sometimes, these oils can even leave behind footprints. Rats have four toes on their front feet and five on their back feet, so keep an eye out for their tiny footprints. 

Gnaw Marks 

A bunch of gnawed wires in a metal wiring trough

Rats will chew on just about anything they can fit in their mouth. If there are rats in your Baltimore home, you may notice small gnaw marks on your walls, floors, wires, and even food packaging. 


If you’ve noticed any strange sounds in your home, a rat infestation could be the culprit. Listen for signs of rat activity such as squeaking or scuttling in your walls, especially at night. 

Useful Rat Prevention Tips 

Roughly 14.8 million Americans have reported spotting rats in their home in the past year. Whether you live in a rural town or an urban city, rodents and other pests will try to seek shelter in your home. 

Here’s how you can keep rats away from your Baltimore homes and businesses:

  • Reduce clutter inside and outside your home 
  • Fix leaks or clogs in your plumbing that could be providing water sources for rats 
  • Seal up any possible entry points on your property 
  • Use metal trash cans with tight-fitting lids 
  • Store your food (including pet food) in airtight containers 

Getting Rid of Rats 

Close-up of a rat in a metal cage trap

If you think you have a rat problem, it’s important to act quickly. Even if you take precautions, rats can still show up and wreak havoc. Contact Phenom Pest Protection to schedule an inspection as soon as you notice any of the above signs of an infestation.

Once we determine the source of your problem, we can provide rodent control treatment that’ll eliminate your infestation. Afterward, we can provide a report and follow up to make sure you’ve received all the service you need.


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