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What Do Rat Nests Look Like?
January 11, 2024

What Do Rat Nests Look Like?

When you have a rat nest in your yard, it may not look like much at all. Rats hide their nests from view. One rat in our area is particularly good at creating nests you can't easily view. Why? Because they can create their nests underground. If you're dealing with rats in New Mexico, it is likely that you'll have a hard time finding their hidden netting sites. But, hopefully, with the tips we share today, that task will be a bit easier. As always, your Greenway Pest Solutions team is here if you need us. We can inspect your property and let you know where these pests are likely hiding. We can also deal with those nests. For assistance, please give us a call or request a free quote below!

rat hiding under building materials

Ground rats in New Mexico

A Norway rat is a brown rat that likes to burrow in the ground and lives in damp, subterranean environments, like sewers. It is also a nocturnal animal that sneaks around in your yard and possibly in your home, and you're only likely to see it in the early morning, or when darkness starts to fall. 

You can expect Norway rats to do a few common things on your property. They access trash receptacles and junk piles, gnaw on wood and other building materials, dig holes in the ground, and leave their droppings for you to find.

How to find a Norway rat nest

Using the facts shared above, you can find signs of Norway rat activity. Doing so will help you isolate where you might have a nest hidden on your property.

  • Grease Marks
    Norway rats often climb or live in unsanitary environments. When they explore your property, they'll leave grease marks. Look for these on your foundation slab or other building materials. You'll also find them around pipe gaps. If you see grease marks, you may have a nest nearby.
  • Droppings
    Norway rats leave their droppings as they crawl around in your landscaping, under your deck, and in other areas that provide cover. The droppings of a Norway rat are about ¾ of an inch, black, and shiny.
  • Damage
    Norway rats scratch and gnaw on building materials and you may see this damage around a pipe or PVC conduit or find small holes in an exterior wall or door frame. Damage like this is a warning that you have a nest in your walls.
  • Holes
    Norway rats like to tunnel in the ground and will make shallow burrows underneath junk piles, sheds, and other surface objects. Keep in mind that other animals make ground holes, and Norway rats also use the holes created by these animals.  
  • Odor
    Norway rats leave their urine to create a scent map. The longer you have a rat problem, or the more rats you have, the greater the scent of urine.

Once you zero in on where you might have a nest, you can start thinking about how to uncover it. Obviously, some nests are nearly impossible to fully uncover. But, if you do find a nest, it is helpful to know what it will look like.

Where to look for a rat nest in New Mexico

Norway rats are active in secluded spaces, such as underneath decks, porches, and sheds. They're also drawn to piles of junk. When you find warning signs of activity, you find yourself faced with the challenge of checking these spaces, but it isn't easy—or practical.

  • You'll need to move junk and look for balled nests made of shredded paper, fabrics, and soft materials found in nature. If the nest is under the ground, you'll need to dig to see it.
  • You'll need to remove objects from under your deck and crawl into that space to see their soft, hidden nests.
  • You'll need to dig at a hole that leads under a shed and shine a light in there. If the nest is near the entry point, you might see soft, balled-up materials.
  • You'll need to remove building material and shine a flashlight into structural voids, such as the gap between studs or the space within your door and window frames. 

If you can't seem to find a rat nest but know rats are on your property, or worse, inside your home, there is help! 

Contact Greenway for help getting rid of rats

Whether you've seen rats scurrying about on your property or suspect rat activity, contact Greenway Pest Solutions for professional assistance. Our NM pest control specialists have the training and experience to track rat activity, locate nesting sites, and apply rodent control methods to reduce populations and block access to key areas. We're your local pest control experts in Albuquerque, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and the surrounding region. Connect with us today.

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