How To Tell How Many Rats Are In Your House

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.

Let’s begin with the obvious. It is going to be a huge challenge to get an exact number of rats in your house.


Because rats are excellent climbers, they can travel through your walls and squeeze through small gaps (of a couple of inches). Not only that, but rats can chew through many things, which means they can create holes to get to other areas of your house.

Considering the above, it is not an exact science, but if you want to know how to tell how many rats are in your house, then we have you covered in this post!

What you will learn in this post:

  1. How to tell how many rats are in your house.
  2. Whether one rat means there are more.

How To Tell How Many Rats Are In Your House

The Challenges

In the intro, I mentioned how difficult it would be to tell how many rats are in your home.

You could hear tons of noise in your attic, or in your walls, but unless it is happening at the same time, you can’t be 100% sure that it isn’t the same rat! I guess that can be seen as good news, right?

Rats can travel freely throughout most of your home, making it difficult to know how many rats there are, but I will give you some tips on how you can learn how big the war will be between you and the rats!

Let’s make a start.

How To Tell How Many Rats Are In Your House

How To Tell How Many Rats Are In Your House Infographic


Where have you heard noises? How often do you hear noises? Can you hear noises in different parts of your house simultaneously?

You will need some help with this tip. When the sun sets, you should disperse throughout your house and listen out for noises. If you can confirm noises in your attic and your walls simultaneously, then you have more than one rat.

That is not a good sign! Rats can have tons of babies and can increase in numbers quickly.

Always record your results, because it gives you data to check back on.

Check For Nests

It is time for you to go on a hunt for rat nests in and around your home.

You should check in your attic, in your kitchen, in any storage units, and even in your yard and other places where rats nest in your home.

If you find a rat’s nest, then you will probably have more rats to deal with. If the nest is empty, you might have been lucky enough to get to it before birth!

You should remove any rat nests as you find them. Ensure that you clean the area thoroughly, and set up rat traps too.

Check For Droppings And Urine

You should also look around your house for rat droppings and urine.

Rat droppings can be hazardous to your health, so please ensure that you are protected by:

  • Using a respirator face mask
  • Using disposable gloves
  • Washing your clothes straight after performing these checks

Always record your results. If you notice an increase in fresh droppings and urine, you will likely have more than one rat in your home.

Chewed Up Items

If you want to know how to tell how many rats are in your house, keeping a record of chewed-up items in your home can help.

If items are being chewed frequently, and you have noticed a significant increase in chewed items, you will have more rats in your home.

Set Traps

The only way you will be 100% sure how many rats are in your house is to catch them!

I always have several traps set up in my attic, ready to catch anything that breaches the perimeter of my house. I always ensure that the common rat entry points are blocked, so it is unlikely that I will get a rat in my home. However, you never know when a rat will find something I have missed!

It might be worth using rat poison, but be sure to use it responsibly! Always catch the rats so they can’t escape after taking the bait.

Rat poison can be hazardous, so use it wisely.

Scatter Powder (Flour, or Talc)

By scattering powder (such as flour) in areas where you have noticed rat activity, you can see if there has been increased activity. You will also confirm your thoughts on where and how these rats travel through your home.

Although it is not a perfect way of finding out how many rats are in your house, it gives you more of a clue as to where rats are most active. That will also help when setting the traps.

If there is only 1 rat, are there more?

If you have noticed one rat in your house, there is likely to be more. I am guessing that is not the answer that makes you happy, right?

The good news is, if you have only just heard rat noises in your home, you have an opportunity to get rid of them before they begin to increase in numbers. Worst-case scenario, a female rat has entered your home, and it is just about to give birth! Please get rid of it quickly!

The bad news is that a rat has got into your house, which means there is an entry point that will allow more rats into your house. You should check around your home and fix any rat entry points immediately. It is the most effective way of stopping rats from getting into your house.

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

How do you know if rats are gone?

The biggest clue is that you no longer hear rat noises in your attic or the rest of your home. You can also scatter powder around areas where you have noticed rat activity and set up some traps. Performing regular checks on these two items can tell you if the rats are gone.

Can you have just one rat in your house?

Yes – it can be just one rat in your house. Although this is good news, it doesn’t take long for the rat population in your home to explode! Rats have tons of babies, so if you do not deal with the issue immediately, you will have a rat infestation in no time!

What causes rats to come into your house?

The biggest reason rats come into your house is that you allow them to come into your home! To stop them from getting into your house, you should seal off any rat entry points, store food correctly, and set some traps in your attic for times when they find an entry point you have missed. That is the process I follow.


If you want to know how many rats are in your house, then the 6 tips on this page will help you.

The problem is that getting an exact number will be very challenging. Having said that, if you know that you are dealing with 1 rat, 2 rats, or 10 rats, it doesn’t change HOW you deal with them; it just tells you that you need to scale up with the traps!

Before you do anything, you should seal any rat entry points up to stop more of them from coming in and to stop the ones in your home from getting out. You want them onto the traps ASAP.

Good luck, and stay vigilant!


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.

1 thought on “How To Tell How Many Rats Are In Your House”

  1. You made a great point about how having just one rat in a house is just as dangerous as an entire infection. In fact, I became extremely suspicious about the one rat I saw in my kitchen the other week because, after just a few days, one more showed up. Before this problem gets out of hand, I’ll look for a pest control service that can help me find and exterminate them right away.


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