Ever wondered where rats go during the day?
You may already know that rats are primarily nocturnal, which means they generally sleep during the day and come out after dusk.
Rats usually only come out during the evening because it allows them to move around in relative safety. When you consider that many of their predators are active during the day, it’s easy to see why they spend it sleeping!
Some predators operate during the night, too, like owls, for instance.
But that isn’t answering the question! So, where do rats go during the day? The answer is common: they spend the day in their nest or the area near their nest.
That doesn’t mean you will not see a rat during the day because there are reasons why they are active during the day, which I’ll cover in this post.
Where do rats go during the day?
The most common spaces rats sleep during the day are in nests. You will find rats’ nests in dark, hard-to-reach areas in your home.
Anywhere dark, out of your direct vision, and generally quiet is an excellent spot for rats. Rats create these nests in many areas around your apartment or home.
Scratching sounds at night is an indicator of rat infestations. These scratching noises happen at night (after dusk) as the rats travel from one part of the house to another.
Here are the places you are most likely to find a rat during the day.
Where Rats Live – Their Nest
The small rodent spends most of the day sleeping in a nest. Rats build their nests from paper, twigs, pieces of fabric, and other foraged items.
If you looked in the rat’s nest, you might notice rats scavenged many of these items across the house.
One or several rats’ nests might be located throughout your house or apartment.
Rats are also capable of building burrows in your yard. For example, a rat in your garden, even during the day, could be because of a nearby rat burrow.
Rats burrow deep and can cause damage under your home, so you need to smoke these out when you find them! Check your yard and garden for telltale signs.
Rats (like black or roof rats) prefer living in high places like your attic because it is secluded from the rest of the house.
Typically, the rat will settle beneath the floorboards to get a good view below.
Nesting in high places helps a roof rat (also called a black rat) stay hidden from you and your pets so they can remain unseen for as long as possible.
Listen out for noises that indicate you have a rat in your attic.
Many pieces of furniture in your home make great hiding spots for rats during the day.
Great hiding spots are under bookshelves and behind immovable appliances (fridges, dryers/washers, dishwashers, ovens, etc.) because they are unnoticeable and challenging to reach.
The weather can have an impact on where rats nest. For instance, rats commonly hide under large outdoor appliances during colder seasons like winter.
Garages or storage sheds are great places for rats to sleep during the day. These rooms are the most unfrequented in the house, where many boxes and equipment sit untouched for long periods.
Rats can escape to this secluded area of the house during the day and may have access to food if you store any in the garage. Not only that, but rats will undoubtedly find tons of nest-building materials there, too.
Do rats move during the day?
Generally, rats do not move throughout the day because they do not want their scratching sounds to attract nearby predators.
If you hear scratching in the middle of the day could signify another rodent. Seeing rats in the daytime is not that uncommon when you consider the reasons, such as:
- The rat is hungry
- A nearby nest
- Chased away from their nest
- A rat infestation in the local area
Why do rats hide during the day?
The main reason that rats hide during the day is because they are trying to protect themselves.
Rats cannot easily protect themselves against large predators, so they sleep during the day so they can wake up at night and move in the darkness.
Do rats leave the house during the day?
Rats do not usually leave your house during the day or any other time. Until dark outside, most rats will stay in dark hiding places around your home to protect themselves. Furthermore, rats tend to forage all food and materials they need after dusk.
Any food they may need during the day is pre-gathered.
Do rats come out from hiding during the day?
If a rat comes out of its hiding place during the day, they are probably looking for food, water, or another vital resource.
Rats do not typically need to leave their nests since they forage at night to stock up on food. So, when a rat forages for food during the day, it signifies they are desperate for food.
Rats usually spend the day in their nest, rat burrow, or scurrying around the area close to their nest. That doesn’t mean you will not spot them around your home or even in your kitchen, where they have easy access to food.
If you see lots of rats during the day, it could indicate an infestation. If you are not comfortable tackling the rat infestation yourself, you should choose a pest control company to deal with it.