Despite being larger than mice, rats are just as agile. They also have strong front teeth that enable them to chew through materials that would easily stop a mouse. But many people are unaware that rats are also very good at digging and excavating.
In the wild, they create extensive networks of burrows to shelter in, store food, and build their nests. If you have rats on your property, you will often find their burrows near to structures or solid objects that might provide cover.
Rat holes are easy to miss, but they are usually simple to identify once you spot them. There just aren’t many animals likely to burrow under your walls the way that rats do. If you suspect you might have rats on your property, it’s worth checking the perimeter of your home for any evidence of digging and burrowing.
Rats will also dig their burrows under dense vegetation. If you have a large garden, rats may well dig tunnels from hedges and bushes to your house so they can travel between them undetected.
You can determine whether a burrow was dug by a rat or another animal by its appearance. The opening to a rat burrow will be two to four inches wide and usually smooth. The excavated dirt is usually strewn in a fan shape, but this feature can vary depending on the type of soil being excavated.
If you find burrows matching this description but don’t notice any other signs of rats on your property, the burrows might be from another animal. Alternatively, you might have rats living near your property but not venturing inside.
Sealing the burrow entrances won’t get rid of the rats; they will just dig new openings. Keeping your garden and grass well-maintained will make it much less attractive to them, however.