Let’s begin with the obvious. It is going to be a huge challenge to get an exact number of rats in your house. Why? Because rats are excellent climbers, they can travel through your walls and can squeeze through small gaps (of a couple of inches). Not only that, but rats can chew through a ton of 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

I mentioned in the intro how difficult it is going to 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, it makes it difficult to know how many rats there are, but I am going to give you some tips on how you can know how big the war is going to 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 at the same time?

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

That is not a good sign! Rats can have tons of babies and can increase in numbers very, very 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 rats 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 rats 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 the 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 take a 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 or fresh droppings and/or urine, then you are likely to have more that one rat in your home.

Chewed Up Items

If you want to know how to tell how many rats are in your house then 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, then you will have more rats in your home.

Set Traps

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

I always have a number of 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 that I have missed!

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

Rat poison can be very dangerous, 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 are traveling through your home.

Although it is not a perfect way of finding out how many rats are in your house, it does give you a bit 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 a rat in your home, you have an opportunity to get rid of it before they begin to increase in numbers. Worst-case scenario, a female rat has entered your home and it just about to give birth! 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 are no longer hearing rat noises in your attic, or in the rest of your home. You can also scatter powder around areas where you have noticed rat activity, and set up some rat 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, then you will have a rat infestation in no time at all!

What causes rats to come in your house?

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


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

The problem is that it will be very challenging to get an exact number. 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 coming in, and to stop the ones in your home getting out. You want them onto the traps ASAP, right?

Good luck, and stay vigilant!

About the Author

Rodent Guide

Man v Rodent! I've been tackling Rodent infestation issues for over 20 years. Now I want to use this website to pass over the tips that I have learned over that time to help you take these Rodents out DIY style!

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