A Nest of Baby Rats

baby rat nest

10.05.2006 - This is a litter of baby rats that I removed from the gutter of a home. The homeowner had actually observed the female rat entering and exiting the gutter, and suspected a nest therein. I arrived at the home, and found the gutter of the porch roof completely littered with years' worth of debris, much of which was so old it had nearly decomposed into soil.. I began to dig through and remove and bag the debris, when one of my scoops yielded a SQEAK- SQEAK- SQEAK noise, and I knew I had hit paydirt. By paydirt I mean rats in dirt, for which I got paid. I carefully removed the nest of baby rats, and took this photo.

I'd guess that the little buggers are about a week or so old. This means that they'll be breeding and spreading filth and pestilence in a matter of three or four more days. Just kidding, but rats do mature quickly, and are sexually mature by only three months of age. This is why one rat in the gutter becomes 3,975,287 rats in the gutter within a few short years. That is, of course, unless the natural system of checks and balances keeps the population level. The natural system of me balancing on a ladder and checking the gutter keeps the population down. Down by six in this case.

This was an unusual call for me because normally I only deal with rats inside of homes. However, the customer is always right, and in this case, was right when she said, "I've got a nest of rats in my gutter". I was skeptical, but when I saw how filthy her gutter was, I became a believer. So folks, if you don't want rats in your gutters, keep them clean and free of debris. It might even help with water drainage.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Rats page for tips and advice.
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If you spot a rat in your house, it’s more than likely that you have a nest of baby rats in your attic or other elevated areas. Rats reproduce often; every female can produce ten litters per year. That’s a lot of babies, and a lot to worry about if you have rats in your home.

What a Nest of Baby Rats Looks Like
The appearance of a baby rat nest depends on how old the babies are. If they are pink, they’re just a day or two old. If they are darkening in color, then they’re about a week old. Rats grow incredibly fast, so determining the age isn’t as important as taking care of the problem at hand.

To note, nests are made up of cardboard, insulation, paper, leaves, and other soft-ish materials than can be used to cover them. They’re not like bird nests, rat nests are well-hidden and covered. You more than likely won’t run into one unless you’re searching through boxes or rarely traversed places.

What to Do with a Nest of Baby Rats
There are a few options when it comes to baby rat nests. You could capture the nest as a whole and remove it all at once or set a bunch of traps around, hoping to catch them all. However, making a commotion will just scatter all of the rats into different areas of your home, expanding the issue.

The thing is that the rat nest isn’t the problem, in and of itself. The problem is the adult rats. These babies aren’t rummaging through your belongings, eating your drywall, and chewing through your wires. The adult rats are the real culprits, and in a few weeks, those babies will grow to add to that list. Keep in mind that a baby rat nest won’t survive without its mother’s milk, so taking care of the adult rats will in turn take care of the nest.

Call on an exterminator or wildlife control expert if you find a nest of baby rats for the best and most humane solution to the problem. You can catch the adults with cages and release them elsewhere, but there’s no assurance that they won’t come back. Or you can set snap traps around. It’s a messy business with messy results, and unfortunately, a baby rat nest is just a piece of that puzzle.

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