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How to Sleep Despite Night Sounds of Rats or Mice

Updated on April 30, 2013
Papers, open chip bags, and other items make fabulous nests.  Keep it clean, and free of clutter.
Papers, open chip bags, and other items make fabulous nests. Keep it clean, and free of clutter. | Source

When I write this, I write from experience. I've heard the strange noises that rats make late at night when everyone is asleep. The first night was a single occurrence - one quick pass over our bedroom in the attic. I was asleep and was awakened by the scratchy-clawey rumble, yes rumble of a rat speeding across the ceiling. I strained to listen for more noises, but it never came and I soon fell asleep again. The next night I heard it more clearly, by the weekend it was Grand Central Station up there and something had to be done.


People sleep when they are at peace, and feel comfortable and safe. If you have rats in the attic playing speedway up there, you will not be sleeping too comfortably. As soon as you're able, investigate the area where you heard them last, and take steps to remove them from your home. If it was a sound that you heard, you must find out what caused the sound so that you will be confident that your home is safe and sound.

It doesn't matter if your home is immaculate and extremely clean, but if your home is has a lot of trash, open foods, pets, etc, you can bet that they'll be stopping by.

This hub will give you more information on things that go bump in the night, and will cover the following topics:

Night Sounds

Sounds of Rats

Rats in the Attic

Night Sounds

Night sounds can be scary, but only if you're not used to hearing the sounds of your own home. If you have an older home, it will stretch, creek and crack as the day cools into the wee hours of the morning. Being able to discern what sounds actually don't belong to your house will actually alert you to sounds being caused by someone, or something else.

Sounds in the night can be a shutter that gently tap-tap-taps in the gentle breeze, or it can be the constant scratch coming from the ceiling as your mature pine tree brushes the top of your roof. It can be the slight vibration of the hot water pipes as someone washes their hands in the bathroom, or it can be the contant drip of a leaky faucet.

It's when a sound is made that doesn't belong to the usual creak and pop of your own home that's when you need to perk up your ears and investigate. When there is a loud sound that wakes you, or when you hear a sound that is not normal, you need to be on your guard, and find out where it came from, and what caused it.

Rats like to be out of the spotlight - like under sinks. Remove clutter, seal holes that don't need to be there, make sure no water leaks from pipes.
Rats like to be out of the spotlight - like under sinks. Remove clutter, seal holes that don't need to be there, make sure no water leaks from pipes. | Source

Sounds of Rats

Now that you've narrowed down the sounds of what it could be, you're positive it's rats, or at least rat-like. Where ever you heard the sound - if it was in the attic, go into the attic to investigate. Likewise, if you heard the noise in the kitchen, go into the kitchen.

When you're suspecting rats, just a sniff of the air will affirm that you have a infestation problem. When rats are in an area, they will urinate, and usually have off-spring in the area. If you've seen just one of them, you can bet that there are more. When you investigate, look in the area for grouping of trash, or cloth that shouldn't be there. These are usually for nesting. Follow your nose looking for that pungent ammonia odor, and you are sure to find a nest. Sometimes you'll find little newly born rats within the nesting.

Once you've located this nest, you'll know that rat-babies are soon to be coming if they're not there already. You'll need to formulate a plan of action to be rid of this common but serious problem. Rats are very dirty animals that carry disease and germs, this is a 911 for your household because their presence threatens the health of you and your family.

Having pets may be nice for you, but they also provide pet food for rats that can nibble right into their foods.  Make sure to clean up after messy birds, and seal all foods.
Having pets may be nice for you, but they also provide pet food for rats that can nibble right into their foods. Make sure to clean up after messy birds, and seal all foods. | Source

Have you ever had a rat/mouse infestation in your home?

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Be aware of trees that grow close to the house - rats are excellent climbers and will jump from trees into open windows, and atop roofs.
Be aware of trees that grow close to the house - rats are excellent climbers and will jump from trees into open windows, and atop roofs. | Source

Rats in the Attic

I watched a manager throw a stray cat up into the ceiling when he heard rats running in the ceiling of his restaurant - a few days later he opened the attic door and the cat came flying out.

When you hear rats in the attic, you'll be able to hear them run from one end to the other. Because they are in the attic, it doesn't mean that they climb the walls to get up there, but more likely that they come from an opening in the roof area, or somewhere high.

Rats are excellent climbers and jumpers. If you have a tree that is fairly close to the roofline that is how they will come in. Climbing a tree is a lot easier to do than climbing the walls of the house. Rats are night hunters, and they are very active at night - they don't come around when the house is full of life, but when it gets dark and quiet, they will come out.

To help curb the infestation, ensure that if you have any animals that their food is locked in air-tight canister, check your pantry for products that have been bitten through, and eliminate any source of water that puddles or drips.

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