Rats are nocturnal by nature. This means they move about at night, and sleep during the day. They spend their nights running around, playing, fighting, breeding, chewing, and scrounging for food. Because of this, they tend to sleep during the day. The most active periods in a rat’s day are 30 minutes after dusk, and 30 minutes before dawn. Rats will generally wake up just as the sun sets, and are ready to party by dusk. The will stay up all night, and rats are very physically active while awake. During the day, rats sleep a lot and are usually in a very deep sleep. They do wake up off and on through the day but they are not very active during this time. Their habit is to sleep about four hours, wake for a few minutes, and return to sleep. Rats in a commune may stay awake abet more, as they have company.
Outdoors rats tend to burrow or crawl into logs and other small spaces to protect themselves from predators while sleeping. In your home, they will burrow into insulation, hide in boxes, or crawl down into walls to feel safe while sleeping. If you have a rat infestation, you will hear sounds of activity sometime around when the sun begins to sink. If you should to see a rat moving around out in the open, and it is during the day, it could mean a number of things. An urban myth says that seeing a rat out in the daylight means you have a terrible infestation. This is not necessarily true. It could be awake and moving for a number of reasons. It rats feel as though they have safe passage to move about your house, they will. If a rat awakens after a four hour nap, and feel hungry. It will come out for food, and then return to its hole. If a more dominant rat has run out a rat, it may have had to leave cover to escape its aggressor. A rat that has become sick or injured (maybe you have put out poison?) might leave its cover because it is ill and becomes disoriented.
No matter what the reason, seeing rats run around your home is never good. Rats are dirty, live in filth, and spread diseases. They are destructive and can cause you many problems by chewing through electrical wires, plumbing and septic pipes as well as ruining wood, cloth, and insulation with their incessant pooping and chewing. As soon as you realize that you have a rat problem (and even one rat is a problem) take measures to eradicate it. Rats breed at an alarming rate, and left unchecked their numbers will be in the hundreds within a few weeks.
Read the How to get rid of rats page for helpful information and to learn more about Rats
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