Attics and lofts are attractive nesting spots for rats. They provide shelter from the elements and tend to be well-insulated, meaning they stay warm throughout the year. Lofts are also dark, and most people only go up there occasionally, making them great places to hide. If you have rats infesting your property, you will often find them hanging out in the loft. But how do they find their way into these seemingly hard-to-reach places?
Rats that enter your property on the ground floor, whether through an open door or window or a crack in your exterior brickwork, can stealthily make their way to your loft. Alternatively, they might access your attic directly. Rats are much better at climbing than most people give them credit for; they are just as adept as squirrels. If you have a roof window or other visible entry point, rats will take full advantage of it. To keep rats from climbing up to your roof to get in your loft, you should cut back any trees whose branches come within a few metres of the roof.
Rats can compress their bodies to enable them to squeeze through the narrowest of gaps and holes in the exterior of your roof. Many of these gaps are difficult or impossible to spot from the outside. However, if you are inside a dark loft, it’s usually relatively easy to see where the gaps are. Any holes, cracks, or defects in your roof that are large enough to let a rat through will also allow light through. Sealing up these entry points will keep rats out; just make sure you aren’t inadvertently covering up an important vent.