Do you think you might have a rat problem? Are you hearing noises coming from your attic? Are you hearing noises in your walls? If you have noticed something as obvious as a brown rat running through your yard or a black rat running up to your roof, you might be wondering if rats are the pest you're dealing with. Don't worry. We've got you covered. Here are some ways you can tell whether or not rats have infested your South Carolina home.

norway rat in basement
norway rat in pantry


This is the best way to tell you have a rat problem. Rats, like other home-infesting rodents, will leave their droppings in all sorts of places. Three common places to inspect for rat droppings are in your attic, your boiler room, or in the cabinet underneath your kitchen sink. These are far from the only places rat droppings can be found but they are good places to start looking.

Mouse Evidence

If you see a mouse, or find evidence that you have an active mouse infestation, it is highly likely that you don't have a rat infestation. Rats and mice rarely infest the same structure at the same time. How can you tell that you have an active mouse infestation? Mouse droppings are smaller than rat droppings. Generally, a mouse dropping will be about 1/4 of an inch long. Norway rats have droppings that are about ¾ of an inch long. Roof rats have droppings that are around ½ inch long. If you find droppings, you can tell whether or not they are fresh by squishing them. Use a pencil or some other implement. Don't handle the droppings because you could become sick. If a dropping is able to be squished, it is fresh. If it crumbles, it is old.

Dog Droppings

There is another way droppings can give you some insight into your infestation. Rats feed on dog droppings and will sometimes collect droppings and stack them in a pile. If you find your dog's droppings in a hidden location stacked in a pile, you can bet your dog didn't do that. It is more likely that a rat did.


Rats make holes in many places. If you've found dog droppings stacked in your crawl space or cellar, you should find a hole that a rat has chewed to get into that space. They may chew through a protected wire mesh, a sole plate, a window or door frame, weatherstripping, door sweeps, vent covers, and more. Once inside your home, rats don't stop chewing. You may find holes in baseboards, sheetrock, food packages, stored furniture or boxes, foam insulation, and more. The holes created by rats are typically larger than mouse holes because they are larger animals. They will also attack foods that are more filling. Mice are able to live off seeds and tiny morsels.

Streak Marks

When rats run along baseboards, the oil from their fur rubs off. This oil can start to look like dirty grease. Inspect your baseboards in your kitchen and pantry for this warning sign.

Your Pets Acting Strange

Dogs and cats can hear and smell things you can't. If your pet is acting strange, you might have a rat infestation. This sign won't give you any insight into which pest you're dealing with. But does it really matter? Both rats and mice can present many serious problems for you. They can damage your home or your belongings, and make you very sick. They also have the ability to burn your home to the ground by chewing on a live wire. It is best to get control of any rodent infestation.

What You Should Do About Rodents

Due to the level of threat rodents present to property and health, it is best to have a rodent infestation taken care of by a licensed pest professional. If you live in our Aiken, South Carolina service area, contact Aiken Pest Control for industry-leading rodent control for your property. Our team will use the most advanced methods and devices to locate and eliminate rodents that have invaded your property, and monitor for rodent activity to ensure that no rodents remain inside. Contact us today to schedule service. We're standing by to assist you.


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