What Size Hole Can a Rat Get Through?

The question arises: just how minuscule of an opening can a rat manage to wriggle through? It’s truly remarkable to observe their exceptional knack for navigating through the most narrow crevices. How small a hole can a rat get through is a fascinating question that highlights the remarkable flexibility and adaptability of these creatures.

How small a hole can a rat get through is a fascinating question that highlights the remarkable flexibility and adaptability of these creatures. Rats can squeeze through holes as small as an inch in diameter, thanks to their flexible bodies and collapsible skeletons.

What size hole can a rat get through? Rats can squeeze through holes as small as an inch in diameter!
What size hole can a rat get through? Rats can squeeze through holes as small as an inch in diameter!

Rats rely on their ability to squeeze through narrow gaps for survival. Without this skill, rats wouldn’t be able to access food stores or escape from predators as effectively as they do. Of all the tricks rats have up their sleeves, this is one of the most impressive and essential.

While rats can grow to a much larger size than mice, they are still relatively small in the grand scheme of things. However, they can pass through narrow horizontal gaps that look as if they should be far too tight for them to squeeze under. How do rats pull off these seemingly impossible feats? The answer can be found in their skeletons. If you ever see an x-ray of a mouse or rat skeleton, you will notice some unusual features. Rat skeletons essentially look like long cylinders; they look quite different from how most people assume they should.

How rats can fit confined spaces

Rats are extraordinarily adept at manoeuvring through confined spaces, much more so than one might initially believe. There are a few reasons behind their ability to traverse tiny openings and cramped areas, primarily related to their flexible body structure, skeletal system, and their natural behaviour.

  1. Body structure: Rats, like many other members of the rodent family, have long, flexible bodies with loose skin. This flexibility enables them to adjust their form to fit through narrow and irregularly shaped openings. Their bodies can flatten and elongate to a surprising degree, allowing them to squeeze through holes or gaps that appear much smaller than their body size.
  2. Skeletal system: The skeletal system of rats is quite different from that of humans or other mammals. Their rib cages are hinged at the spine and are incredibly flexible, allowing them to collapse when necessary. This feature significantly helps rats to fit into confined spaces. As long as a rat’s skull can fit through an opening, typically the rest of their body can follow.
  3. Behavioural adaptations: Rats are naturally inquisitive creatures, but they are also highly cautious. They prefer to move along walls and enclosed spaces because it provides them with a sense of security. This behaviour, called thigmotaxis, means they are adept at navigating through confined spaces as it’s part of their instinctual behaviours.
  4. Size: The size of a rat can also contribute to its ability to fit into small spaces. The most common species of rats, such as the Norway rat and the Roof rat, are usually around 9-11 inches long (excluding the tail). However, juvenile rats are much smaller and can squeeze through even tinier spaces.
  5. Soft skull: A rat’s skull, though it’s the hardest part of its body, is not fully fused and has soft spots, especially in younger rats. This allows them to apply pressure and ‘deform’ their skull slightly to fit through very tight spaces.
  6. Physical capabilities: Rats are strong and agile animals. They are excellent climbers and swimmers, which aids them in accessing and moving through various environments, including tight spaces.

These factors combined allow rats to fit into openings as small as 1/2 inch for adult rats and even smaller for juveniles. This is why it’s essential for homeowners and pest control experts to seal all potential entry points, no matter how small, to prevent rats from infiltrating buildings.

Do rats have bones?

“Do rats have bones?” is a common query, and the answer is yes, rats possess a skeletal framework that provides them with structure and support.

But it isn’t just the shape of the rat’s skeletons that’s important; it’s what they can do with their bones. Like mice, rats have an impressive ability to compress their skeletons, enabling them to collapse their legs against their bodies or splay themselves out completely flat. Evolution has provided rats with the adaptations they need to make their way through incredibly narrow gaps. Contrary to what many people think, rat ribcages won’t collapse like a coil; they still need to protect their internal organs, and they have to be able to breathe while navigating narrow spaces.

Their whiskers and long hairs on the snout enable rats to determine whether they can fit through a gap or not. This is why you often see them poking their heads through an entrance before deciding whether to go through.

The exact size of a hole that would be too narrow for a rat to get through varies according to several factors. But under optimal conditions, an adult rat can get through a 12mm horizontal gap or 25mm round hole.

How to seal small spaces from rats yourself

Sealing small spaces to prevent rats from entering your home is a critical part of pest control. Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing this yourself:

Step 1: Identify Entry Points

Rats can enter through holes as small as half an inch in diameter. Common entry points include gaps around doors and windows, holes in walls or floors, spaces around pipes and vents, cracks in the foundation, and gaps in roofing or eaves. You’ll need to carefully inspect your home, both inside and out, to identify these potential entry points.

Step 2: Choose the Right Materials

Materials you choose to seal gaps and holes should be sturdy and resistant to gnawing since rats have strong teeth that can chew through many materials. Steel wool, hardware cloth, caulk, and cement are good options.

  • Steel Wool: Rats dislike chewing on steel wool because it’s rough and can hurt their teeth. It can be used to fill small holes and cracks.
  • Hardware Cloth: This is a metal mesh that can be used to cover larger openings, like vents and chimney openings.
  • Caulk: This can seal gaps around windows, doors, or where pipes enter your home.
  • Cement: Ideal for sealing larger holes in the foundation or walls.

Step 3: Seal the Holes and Gaps

Fill small holes and cracks with steel wool, then seal it in place with caulk. For larger holes, use a mix of cement and steel wool. Cover vents and larger openings with hardware cloth, securing it in place with screws or heavy-duty staples.

Step 4: Regular Inspection

Regularly inspect your home for new gaps or evidence of rats, like droppings or gnaw marks. Keeping a vigilant eye will ensure that your home stays rat-free.

Remember, safety first. Wear gloves and a mask when dealing with areas that might have been infested by rats to avoid contact with droppings or urine, which can carry disease. It’s always good to consult a pest control professional if the infestation seems beyond your control.

Residential Pest Control


For effective residential pest control services, trust Bon Accord Pest Control in London. We specialise in tackling rat infestations and ensuring the safety of your household.

Rats can enter homes through small openings, causing contamination, property damage, and the spread of diseases. That’s why it’s crucial to rely on professional experts who can promptly and efficiently address these issues.

At Bon Accord Pest Control, our skilled technicians understand rat behaviour, allowing us to develop tailored strategies. We begin with a thorough inspection to identify entry points and nesting areas. Based on our findings, we create a comprehensive pest control plan using safe and eco-friendly techniques.

Our services include sealing entry points, strategic trap and bait placement, and effective exclusion measures. We prioritise humane practices and environmentally friendly solutions to protect your family and the ecosystem.

Choose Bon Accord Pest Control for trusted and reliable service in London. We utilise the latest industry techniques and stay updated with advancements in pest control technology. 

At Bon Accord, we provide a full range of home pest control services as well as the Bon Accord Helpline, which allows us to deliver our clients with the level of service they require when dealing with rodents, ants, cockroaches and other infestations.

Need some advice?


Dealing with a rat problem at home can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Bon Accord Pest Control in London, we offer expert advice and guidance to help you effectively address your pest concerns.

Our knowledgeable professionals understand the challenges of rat infestations, and we’re here to assist you every step of the way. Whether you need tips on prevention, identifying signs of a rat problem, or safe and effective DIY pest control methods, we have the answers you need.

We believe in empowering homeowners with the information to make informed decisions. Our experts can provide practical advice on sealing entry points, eliminating attractants, and maintaining a rat-free environment. We can also guide you on when to seek professional assistance and the importance of ongoing prevention measures.

No matter the size of your rat-related concerns, we’re dedicated to offering personalized advice for your specific situation. Our goal is to help you regain control of your home and provide peace of mind.

Reach out to us for reliable advice and guidance. Contact Bon Accord Pest Control today, and let our experts assist you in finding the best solutions for your rat infestation concerns. Your satisfaction and a pest-free home are our priorities..


Talk to our experts

Are you dealing with a rat infestation or have questions about pest control? At Bon Accord Pest Control in London, our team of experts is here to provide you with the guidance and support you need.

Our knowledgeable professionals have extensive experience in rat control and are equipped with the latest industry insights. Whether you need advice on prevention methods, want to understand the best treatment options, or have concerns about the safety of pest control measures, our experts are ready to assist you.

By reaching out to our team, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your specific situation and receive personalized recommendations. We understand that every home is unique, and our experts will take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and provide practical solutions tailored to your needs.

You don’t have to navigate the challenges of rat infestations alone. Our experts are committed to helping you regain control of your home and ensuring the well-being of your household. We prioritize your satisfaction and will work closely with you throughout the process to address your concerns effectively.

Take the first step in resolving your rat problem by talking to our experts at Bon Accord Pest Control. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get the advice you need to tackle your pest issues with confidence.

Get a Free Quote

Are you in need of professional pest control services to tackle a rat infestation in your home? At Bon Accord Pest Control in London, we offer a hassle-free process to provide you with a free quote tailored to your specific needs.


Our team of experts understands the urgency and importance of resolving pest issues promptly. By obtaining a free quote, you can have a clear understanding of the scope of work involved and the associated costs, helping you make an informed decision about the next steps.

To get your free quote, simply reach out to us via phone or email. Our friendly customer service team will be happy to assist you. We will gather relevant details about your rat infestation, such as the size of the affected area and any specific concerns you may have.

Based on the information provided, our experts will assess the situation and provide you with a comprehensive quote, outlining the recommended services and associated pricing. We strive to offer competitive rates while ensuring top-quality pest control solutions.

Choosing professional pest control services is an investment in the safety and well-being of your home and family. With our free quote, you can have a transparent understanding of the costs involved, allowing you to plan and budget accordingly.

Take the first step towards resolving your rat infestation by getting a free quote from Bon Accord Pest Control. Contact us today and let our experts provide you with an accurate assessment and a competitive quote tailored to your pest control needs.


Pigeon Nest On Balcony: Here’s What To Do

If you’re dealing with a pigeon nest on your balcony, it’s essential to take swift action to prevent further problems. Pigeons can cause damage, spread diseases, and create unsightly conditions. In our article on Bon Accord Pest Control’s website, we provide valuable insights on efficient pigeon control and professional cleaning solutions to help you tackle this issue effectively. Learn what steps to take and how to maintain a pristine environment by reading our article, “Pigeon Nest On Balcony: Here’s What To Do.” Trust our expertise at Bon Accord Pest Control in London to guide you through the process and ensure a pest-free and immaculate living space.

Efficient Pigeon Control and Professional Cleaning Solutions: Maintaining a Pristine Environment

If you’re looking for efficient pigeon control and professional cleaning solutions to maintain a pristine environment, Bon Accord Pest Control in London has you covered. Our comprehensive services address pigeon infestations, offering humane deterrent techniques and specialized cleaning methods to remove droppings and restore cleanliness. Learn more about maintaining a pristine environment by reading our article, “Efficient Pigeon Control and Professional Cleaning Solutions: Maintaining a Pristine Environment.” Trust our expertise to help you create a pest-free and immaculate space. Contact us today for reliable pigeon control and cleaning services.

Expert Bird Poop Removal: Safeguarding Your Property and Health with Our Services

For expert bird poop removal services that safeguard your property and health, visit our article on Bon Accord Pest Control’s website: “Expert Bird Poop Removal: Safeguarding Your Property and Health with Our Services.


In today’s interconnected world, social media plays a significant role in our daily lives. At Bon Accord Pest Control, we understand the importance of staying connected with our valued customers and the community. Through our social media platforms, we strive to foster engagement, share valuable information, and provide updates on our services.

Follow us on social media to stay informed about the latest pest control trends, helpful tips for maintaining a pest-free environment, and special promotions. Our social media channels also serve as a platform for you to ask questions, share your experiences, and interact with our team.

Join our growing community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and be part of the conversation. We value your feedback, and your participation helps us continuously improve our services to better meet your needs.

Stay connected with Bon Accord Pest Control on social media and let’s build a community focused on creating pest-free environments and promoting a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Karin HarndenKarin Harnden
17:14 05 May 24
We thought we had bedbugs but could find no evidence apart from what we thought were bites. I called Bon Accord and Gabriel was there within a couple of hours. He told us we had carpet beetle. Finding the evidence and showing us photos of the skin reaction which was exactly what we had. He advised and returned at a time to suit us to spray which was done thoroughly and efficiently. No sign of the little critters returning. Thank you Gabriel.
Luiza LoboLuiza Lobo
21:02 11 Apr 24
Gabriel went above and beyond. He is extremely knowledgable and very efficient at what he does. The results were outstanding. Nothing is too much for him. Delighted with his professionalism and work.
sam zsam z
19:11 03 Apr 24
Top-notched pest control service!! Went above and beyond to eradicate the rats from our property. Gabriel even offered to further investigate the infestation issues for our neighbours. We found him to be extremely professional and easy to work with. We highly recommend Gabriel to anyone in need of pest control.
23:29 02 Apr 24
Gabriel provided great service , responded quickly on an emergency for pest infestation, professional and friendly. No more pests at home.
Felicity GrayFelicity Gray
21:53 02 Apr 24
Gabriel was absolutely wonderful, a real life saver when I found a mouse by my bed at 10pm. He came in less than an hour and was able to catch the mouse and put my mind at rest so I could go to sleep! Highly recommend, fab service and lovely people.
Med KashaniMed Kashani
10:54 24 Feb 24
Gabriel turned up with an hours notice one evening and immediately identified the issued. He works efficiently and professionally throughout with timely follow-ups to ensure the problem was resolved. Once completed he was kind enough to continue to check in to see that the issue had gone. Having had Rentokil previously that spent two years doing very little this was a complete breathe of fresh air and solved the problem in less than two weeks. We are grateful and would highly recommend his services.
Nesma TalaatNesma Talaat
20:26 20 Feb 24
We were lucky to have found Bon Accord, they responded very fast to our request and Gabriel was very helpful and informative. He made several visits and did his absolute best until the mice problem we had was gone. Highly recommended.

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