When it comes to household pests, rats and mice top the list as some of the most destructive pests in Florida. If you’ve ever wondered or sought advice on dealing with a rat infestation, you’re in the right place. Here’s a detailed guide on identifying, locating, and effectively trapping rats.

Rat infestations in homes and buildings can lead to particularly unpleasant issues, such as rat feces in your home, an increased risk of diseases, and even dead rats within your walls. As rats scurry through wall cavities, seeking shelter, food, and nesting sites, they occasionally face dangers that can result in their death. Poison baits, commonly used to control rat infestations, are a primary reason for this. When rats ingest these toxic substances, they don’t die instantly. Instead, they often retreat to the perceived safety of wall spaces, where they eventually succumb to the poison.

The problem of dead rats in walls goes beyond the mere thought of having deceased rodents within your premises. As the carcass decomposes, it releases a pungent odor that can permeate rooms and become unbearable for occupants. This smell can last for weeks, depending on the size of the rat and environmental conditions. Furthermore, the decaying process attracts other pests like flies and beetles, exacerbating the pest problem.

Locating and retrieving a dead rat from within a wall can be challenging, often requiring the removal of sections of the wall. It underscores the importance of strategic pest control methods, where the likelihood of rats dying within inaccessible places is minimized. Properly addressing a rat infestation requires a comprehensive approach that considers not only eliminating the pests but also the potential aftermath of their extermination methods.

Identification of a Rat Infestation

1. Physical Evidence:

Rat droppings are one of the most apparent signs. These droppings differ from mice droppings, being slightly larger and more oblong. Gnaw marks on food packages, wires, and wood also signal the presence of rats and mice. You might also come across rat runways – these are the distinct paths rats tread on, often leaving a trace of grease or smudge.

2. Sounds and Observations:

Nocturnal noises such as scratching, squeaking, or sounds of movement are clear signs. If you spot an active rat during the day, it’s an alarming indicator of a larger rat infestation.

3. Other Indicators:

A musky odor, especially in confined areas, along with rat nests made of shredded material, are also evidence.

Identifying the Type of Rat in Your Home

Rats, often associated with urban environments and known for their adaptability, come in various species. The two most predominant types are the Black Rat and the Brown Rat.

The Black Rat, also known as the Ship Rat or Roof Rat, is typically found in warmer coastal regions, making Florida a suitable habitat. Characterized by its sleek black or dark brown coat and long tail, it is an agile climber. In Florida, it’s often found in attics, trees, and other elevated areas.

Conversely, the Brown Rat, commonly referred to as the Norway Rat or Sewer Rat, is bulkier with a shorter tail. Its fur is coarse and brown or greyish in color. This rat prefers to stay at ground level or even below, often populating sewers, basements, and ground burrows.

Florida, with its warm and humid climate, provides an inviting environment for these rats. Among the two, Roof Rats are more commonly found in the state due to their preference for warmer coastal areas. However, both Roof Rats and Norway Rats are often found living in close proximity to humans, leading to potential health risks and property damage. Being informed about these types is the first step to effective rat control in Florida.

Locating Rat Infestation Areas

1. Primary Hiding Places:

Rats love dark, secluded spots where they can hide out of sight of humans and predators. These could range from attics and wall cavities to basements and crawl spaces. Kitchens and pantries are also hotspots due to the proximity to food.

2. Signs to Guide You:

Keep an eye out for grease marks on walls. Rats tend to follow certain routes and, over time, their greasy fur leaves a residue. Also, any holes or damages to floors or walls can be potential entry points.

3. Utilizing Technology:

Investing in UV lights can reveal rat footprints and tail marks, while motion cameras can help you track their activity.

Rat Traps

1. Traditional Snap Traps:

Snap traps are among the best rat traps and are effective in catching rats instantly. Place snap traps near walls or corners where rat activity is frequent. Remember to safely dispose of the rat and decontaminate the area. And keep in mind that more rats are probably around.

2. Live Catch Traps:

If you prefer a humane method, live catch rat traps, or cage traps, allow you to catch rats without killing them. But then you must be able to relocate them safely away from your property where they won’t be able to return.

3. Electronic Traps:

These deliver a quick electric shock, exterminating rats instantly. They’re a cleaner alternative to snap traps.

4. Glue Traps:

Glue trap

Glue traps are sheets covered in a sticky adhesive. While glue traps are effective, they’re often considered less humane than snap traps or live traps as they can cause suffering to the animal. They are also a riskier option if you have children and other pets or wildlife around your home as they may cause unintentional harm to them.

5. Natural Predators:

A cat with a rat in its mouth

Having a cat can deter rats and reduce rat populations. However, this method isn’t foolproof, and not everyone can or wants to keep a cat nor does everyone want to wake up to dead rats being gifted to them by their furry friend.

6. Poison and Rodenticides:

While poison baits can be effective, they pose risks. Pets, other wildlife, or children could ingest them, and poisoned rats might die in wall cavities, leading to a foul odor.

Which Rat Trap Should I Choose?

Choosing between killing rats or trapping them humanely is a decision often influenced by personal ethics, efficacy, and long-term control objectives.

Killing rats, usually through the use of snap traps or poison baits, provides a swift resolution to an infestation. Snap traps offer a quick death, reducing prolonged suffering for the rodent. However, poison baits can be problematic. While effective, they pose risks to pets, wildlife, and even children if they ingest the poison. Additionally, poisoned rats might die within walls or inaccessible places, leading to odor and secondary pest issues.

On the other hand, humane trapping, often using live catch traps, captures rats without causing them harm. Once caught, they can be relocated, although one must ensure they’re released far from homes to prevent their return and in accordance with local wildlife regulations. Humane trapping aligns with the principles of those who oppose killing animals. However, it may not always guarantee a long-term solution, as other rats can still infiltrate the area.

In conclusion, while immediate efficacy might lean toward lethal methods, humane trapping offers an ethical alternative. It’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each method in context, considering both personal values and the specific challenges of the rat problem at hand.

The Professional Touch: Why It Matters

1. Efficiency and Expertise:

A pest control company offers experience and industry expertise that ensures swift and effective rat elimination. Their knowledge extends beyond just placing traps – they understand rat behavior, know where to set traps, and can determine the best bait.

2. Long-term Solutions:

Pest control professionals focus on long-term solutions, such as rodent control measures, to ensure rats don’t return. They’ll seal potential rat entry points, like gaps in your home’s exterior or tree branches too close to the roof.

3. Safety and Humane Treatment:

Trained experts handle rats humanely and employ methods safe for your household. This ensures no unset traps or trap-shy rats. They’ll even caution you on the best spots to place traps away from pets or kids.

The Risks of DIY Rat Removal

While DIY methods might seem cost-effective initially, they come with risks. Without addressing the root cause, you might be dealing with recurring rat problems. There’s also the danger of mishandling traps or using poison baits without proper precautions. Moreover, rats, especially Roof Rats and Norway Rats, can be smarter than we give them credit for – they might just avoid your DIY traps altogether!


What About Catching Mice?

Mouse trap

Catching mice is a common concern for homeowners, given the rapid breeding rates and potential health hazards associated with these tiny rodents. Mouse traps are widely used tools for this purpose. There are various types of mouse traps available in the market, including snap traps, glue traps, and live catch traps. Snap traps, with a quick mechanism to capture or kill a mouse, are among the most popular and effective. Glue traps, on the other hand, immobilize mice by sticking them onto a sticky surface, while live catch traps allow for the humane capture and release of the creature.

Comparatively, rats are larger and often more cautious than mice. This difference in size and behavior necessitates specific rat traps, which are generally more robust than mouse traps. Moreover, rats can exhibit neophobia, a fear of new objects, making them sometimes more challenging to trap than mice.

While both rats and mice are rodents and share similarities in behavior and habitat preferences, the approach to trapping them may differ. Mice are more curious and might quickly approach a new trap, whereas rats might be more wary. Understanding the specific habits and preferences of each rodent is essential to effectively select and set the appropriate trap, ensuring maximum efficiency in capturing these unwanted pests.

Mouse traps are sized to be effective for the smaller body weight and size of a mouse, ensuring a quick and humane method of capture or extermination. A rat, due to its larger size and strength, might not be effectively trapped or euthanized by a mouse trap.

Conversely, rat traps are more robust and larger to accommodate the size of rats, which can vary from medium-sized to quite large, depending on the species. Using a rat trap for mice might not be as effective because a mouse could potentially take the bait without triggering the trap due to its lighter weight or even escape from it due to the larger trap dimensions.

In summary, while both mouse traps and rat traps serve the same fundamental purpose, their differences in size and design make them specifically suited for the rodents they are intended to catch.


Dealing with a rat infestation requires a comprehensive approach. Long-term solutions often need professional intervention. In order to trap rats, whichever rat trap you opt for – snap traps, glue traps, or electronic ones – remember that a pest control company will provide the most effective and lasting solution.

If you’re grappling with rats in your Florida home, trust the experts. You want to sleep peacefully, knowing that every corner of your home is rat-free.

The key to successful rat removal from your home is being proactive. With the right strategy, you can catch and remove rats quickly and safely with minimal risk of injury or damage to property. By identifying where they are entering, preparing traps and bait, placing them in strategic locations and monitoring them regularly, you can effectively get rid of any unwanted rodent visitors. Finally, by implementing follow-up prevention strategies such as sealing cracks and crevices around windows and doors, keeping all food sources sealed tightly, and removing clutter from areas near the exterior walls of your home, you can guard against future infestations.<

At Pro Wildlife Removal we know that dealing with pests like mice or rats can be a difficult task for homeowners. That’s why we provide professional services that guarantee fast results using humane methods. If you’re having trouble getting rid of rodents in your house, call us today for an inspection and advice on how best to tackle your specific situation. We take pride in our ability to help people keep their homes safe from these nuisance critters!

We understand that dealing with a rat infestation can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why our team is here to guide you through the process and provide you with expert advice on the best ways to deal with the problem. We use only safe and humane methods to remove rats from your property, ensuring that no harm comes to them in the process. With our years of experience and specialized equipment, we’ll have your home rat-free in no time. Plus, we offer a range of other wildlife removal services, so you can count on us for all your pest control needs. Protect your home and family – call Pro Wildlife Removal today for reliable and affordable pest control services.

Rats in your house can pose a significant health hazard, not to mention cause damage to your property. At Pro Wildlife Removal, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you get rid of these pests quickly and safely. Our team of professionals can provide you with expert tips on how to catch a rat in your house, as well as offer a range of other pest control services to help keep your home safe and free of rodents. Whether you need help identifying the source of the infestation, setting traps, or taking preventative measures to ensure that the problem doesn’t return, we’re here to help. Don’t wait until the problem gets worse – contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help you catch rats and other pests in your home.