What Do Rats In Your Attic Sound Like? Your Complete Guide

Rodent Guide
Written By Rodent Guide

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

As you lay in bed, you hear a sound from your attic, but what could it be? It could be a bird on your roof, or it could simply be the noise of your heating pipes. It could also be a rodent or, even worse, several rodents!

Could it be a rat? How do you tell?

What do rats in your attic sound like? What is a common rat noise in the attic? Let’s take a look.

What Do Rats In Your Attic Sound Like?

What Do Rats In Your Attic Sound Like

If you hear noises in your attic and want to know if it is a rat, we can help you out here.

I will begin with one problem:

It is a challenge to figure out which particular rodent might be living upstairs in your attic.

There is some bad news for you too. You may have heard a rat noise in the attic, but there is one sure way of knowing whether or not it is a rat you are dealing with. You must go into the attic to check it out for yourself!

I know; it is terrible news, right?

Before you go upstairs, you need to be aware that rats can carry some nasty diseases, so you will need to go up there protected. Use strong boots, strong gloves, and a respirator.

5 Noises That Confirm You Have Rats In Your Attic Infographic

Scurrying Noises


The most common sound that you will get if you have rats in your attic is the noise of them scurrying around to find one of two things:

  1. Food
  2. Bedding

They are quick, so as you lay underneath your attic, you can follow the noise from one side of the room to the other.

Imagine a rat on wooden flooring, and that is what you will be hearing. The scurrying noises can be extremely concerning and will undoubtedly affect what sleep you are going to get that night!

Scurrying is the most common rat noise in an attic.

Scratching Noises

Another noise you are likely to hear is scratching. Rats and other rodents will be scratching anything they find to ensure they keep their claws sharp enough to climb up and down through your house as you sleep (or not!).

Rat’s will also be scratching several items in your attic to shred them up to be used as extra bedding.

If you hear scratching in your attic, you will likely hear the other noises we discuss on this page.

Chewing Noises

Rats will be chewing items in your loft to use as bedding. They will also be gnawing at wooden beams to keep their teeth sharp. This is one of the things that make a rat very dangerous!

When you are sure that you have a rat in your attic, you will need to take action very soon.

Many people keep family heirlooms and items of sentimental value in the loft, and you will need to ensure you get to them before the rats use them as extra bedding.

Old photographs, old clothing, and boxes are perfect items for a rat to use for bedding, so if you have anything sentimental in your attic, ensure they are safely stored away in a metal container to reduce the chances of being chewed by a rodent!

An attic is one of the most common places for a rat to set up a nest in your home, which is why one of the most common noises you will hear is chewing. Rats will use these items to create a nest.

Squeaking Noises

Rats communicate by squeaking; sometimes, this can be very loud, especially if they are scared or want to warn you or a predator.

If you are quiet enough at night, you will be able to hear the faint squeaks of a rat if you have one in your attic.

This is the worst possible sound because it is a key indicator that there is more than one rat up there to deal with.

Hissing Noises


As if the first noises on this page are not concerning enough! Rats can also hiss.

If you hear a rat hissing, it is likely because it is afraid, angry, or in pain. It is worth remembering if you have set some traps to capture the rat because if you hear it hissing, the rat may catch it in the trap.

Are These The Only Rat Noises You Are Likely To Hear In Your Attic?

The simple answer is no; these are not the only noises you may hear that identify a rat has found its way into your attic.

One of the most concerning things is that you may not hear any noise! That means you could go weeks or months before you realize you have a rat in your attic. Rats breed at an incredible rate, and before you even hear a rat, you may have a large family living in your attic. I am sure you will listen to that!

Rats make a few different noises, such as squeaking, barking, screaming, and grinding teeth! You should sit in silence after nightfall to see if you can hear any of these sounds because it could indicate that you have rats in your attic.


If you hear noises in your attic, you will want to know quickly what it is! You will want to know what rats in your attic sound like, so at least you can confirm or rule it out.

Other things can infest your attic other than rats, but rats (along with mice) are the most common.

If you think you have a rat in your attic, it is best to investigate immediately. Once you confirm that you have a rat infestation, you can formulate a plan to eliminate them. Getting rid of them should begin with a trip around your home to identify rat entry points. Seal these up so no more rats can get in during your war with the rats currently inside your property!

Good luck!


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

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