Why Do Rats Enter Buildings?

Rats are very basic with their needs; they require just water, food and shelter to survive. Unfortunately, homes and businesses tend to be their preferred choice due to the abundance of food waste and cosy nesting opportunities. Rats are extremely adaptable and are built to survive; therefore, it can be difficult for untrained professionals to control a rat infestation. In addition to this drive for survival, rats and other rodents breed rapidly. Therefore, what starts as a small problem can quickly develop into an extensive and hazardous infestation.

In order to minimise your chances of a rodent infestation, there are some signs that you can look out for. Rat entry points are small gaps or holes in the exterior of your building which indicate where a rodent is entering your property. The identification of these entry points enables you to proactively block and proof your home or business.

How To Find Rat Entry Points

Rats are small and agile; therefore, they require a gap of just 15mm to enter your property. Although this confirms that rats are creative, it also means that it is incredibly difficult for humans to spot these entry points due to how small they can be. 

If you have noticed signs around your home, such as scratching sounds, brown smudges on surfaces, rat droppings or nesting material, inspect the interior and exterior of your property for entry points. This rodent activity will advertise the main routes of entry inside your property as it will host a lot of rat activities. Alternatively, if you want to prevent a rat infestation, we recommend regular inspections of your property to maintain effective rat-proofing. 

In addition to inspecting the facade of your building, it is imperative to check your outdoor spaces too. Rats will try to avoid humans at all costs, so if you have lots of waste, overgrown greenery or log piles, rats will use these as safe passages towards the property. 

At Countrywide, we provide a thorough and extensive inspection for rat entry points to combat your pest infestation efficiently. For more information, call us today at 0800 078 7255 or book your rat control visit and implement successful pest control solutions. 

Common Rat Entry Points

In our experience, rats tend to be consistent in their choice of entry points. Although there are some exceptions, they commonly enter buildings through small openings in the structure, negligent building work or natural faults due to the age and condition of the property. 

Below are some of the most common entry points for rats and other rodents, such as mice and squirrels

Air Vents 

Air vents around your property are the perfect height for rodents and can provide a direct route into your home. In older properties, bricked air vents can offer more protection; however, due to the age, they tend to be damaged or cracked. These damages provide holes big enough for a rat to enter. Alternatively, in newer and more modern properties, these vents are plastic. Unfortunately, a rat can easily gnaw through this plastic, so rodent-proofing measures need to be implemented.

Cracks In The Wall 

Depending on the age of your property, foundation cracks can naturally occur on the exterior of your home. Rats will use these cracks to enter a property and live inside the walls. Rats are also equipped with strong teeth; therefore, they can chew through these materials to make these cracks bigger. 

Overgrown Greenery 

If you have plants, such as ivy, which stretch the height of your property, you provide rats with a direct route to your guttering and roof. Rats and other rodents can gnaw their way inside the property from your roof and damage your guttering. 

If you suspect you have rats in the loft, inspect the outside of your home to identify potential access routes. Exterior greenery should be maintained and trimmed regularly to reduce this threat. 


As rats are nocturnal, they enjoy dark places with limited to no human contact. Drains and sewers are an extremely common place for a rat to live; however, this provides a direct route into your home. Gaps around pipework or damaged pipework are one of the easiest ways for a rat to enter your property. Therefore, filling and sealing holes around pipes helps to restrict and limit the number of rat entry points. At Countrywide, we offer CCTV drain surveys for rats to ensure 100% effective rat control treatments. 

close up of a brown rat in a drain pipe

Doors and Frames

A poorly sealed door or window could provide a big enough gap for a rat to squeeze through. Therefore, ensure your windows and doors fit perfectly and are appropriately weather-protected to ensure pests cannot take advantage of small holes or gaps in the silicone. 

Additionally, when you open a door, rats can exploit this and run inside undetected. Installing a screen can help with unwanted rodents as well as other insects which will enter your home. In commercial applications, automatic doors can stay open for quite some time, resulting in an easy passage for rats. 

Poor Construction Work

Tradespeople and construction workers do not fully understand a rat’s capabilities. As a result, during the completion of a job, they may leave holes unfilled or gaps around the pipework. Unfortunately, these holes enable rats and rodents to easily enter your property, leaving no trace of damage behind. Ensure you hire a reputable company to complete any building work, as this can limit your exposure to rodents. 


Garage doors typically feature a small rubber weatherproofing seal to protect your garage. Unfortunately, rodents can chew through this seal very easily; therefore, this is a very simple way for a rat to enter your property. If you’ve noticed small chunks of rubber on the floor in your garage, this is a definite sign that a rodent uses this location as an entry point. 


How Do I Stop Rats Getting In The Home?

Rats are opportunistic animals with the ability to live anywhere and eat almost anything. For this reason, the chances of encountering a rat problem or infestation are very high. Furthermore, rats cause severe structural damage and carry many diseases that are dangerous to humans and domestic pets. In order to minimise your chances and protect your home or business, rodent-proofing measures need to be implemented. Rodent proofing is a successful way of preventing rats, mice and squirrels from entering your property, and at Countrywide, we specialise in effective and efficient rat control services. 

Look Out For The Signs

Rodents of any species will leave behind droppings, nesting material, urine, damage and smells. Looking out for these signs ensures you can action successful control measures before these animals breed. Rats can breed up to 2,000 babies yearly, so proactive pest control is essential. 

Now that you know what to look for, regular inspections around your property will highlight entry points that must be addressed and rectified. 

Waste Management

Food waste, clutter and rubbish attract rats and can encourage other pests to live on your land. Therefore, regular cleaning and maintenance are recommended to ensure you are limiting food sources and removing potential nesting habitats. 

Hire The Professionals 

The most successful and efficient way of managing a pest infestation is by calling a professional pest control company. At Countrywide Pest Control, our expert operatives are trained and skilled in controlling and removing all pests from commercial and domestic premises. Furthermore, our services extend to proofing your property, guaranteeing that your pest problem is 100% eradicated and will not return in the future. 

If you are suffering from a rat infestation and require pest control in Berkshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire, call us today at 0800 078 7255 for your free quote. 


Areas we cover

Your local pest control team in Berkshire