What Do Rats Eat?


March 1, 2021

What Do Rats Eat?

If you have ever noticed a rat on or near your property, you have probably asked yourself what do rats eat? Rats are master scavengers that will essentially eat whatever is available. Rats especially love seeds, nuts, and any leftover food tossed in a garbage can. If there is a pile of wood, bricks, or rocks near your property, a family of rats may settle in and make themselves at home. If a rat cannot find sufficient food or water outside, there is a good chance that it will migrate inside. From there, they will start munching on the contents of your home - or even your home itself.  

Norway Rats getting into a bag of trash in Washington DC

What Do Rats Eat Outdoors?

If a rat takes up residence in your backyard, it will eat birdseed, fallen fruit, and vegetables from your garden. An outdoor grill that isn't cleaned properly can even attract rats and other rodents to your yard.

Rats also love compost and garbage. If you spot a rat on your property, be sure to secure any garbage cans or compost heaps. Avoid adding any sort of food that has a strong smell, like cheese, eggs, or fish to any unsecured location.

Simple Measures Go a Long Way When Rat-Proofing A Structure


If you’re looking to “rat-proof” a bin or trash can, one of the most effective ways is to place it in an area that is well-travelled. Rats are very sneaky, secretive creatures. They’ll naturally gravitate away from places where they know a human or pet eye may spot them. This may require moving bins away from walls or corners where these little critters might be able to hide.

An outdoor food bowl for your dog or cat is a feast for a rat. Rats are also attracted to water sources such as leaky faucets and containers that gather rainwater. If you want to get rid of rats in your backyard, consider all potential food and water sources that may be sustaining them. 

During the summer, simply walking the perimeter of your house on the regular can be enough to deter a friendly fellow or two from making a home nearby. During less abundant months, sometimes hiring an expert pest control company is the fastest, safest way to ensure that your property’s little friends don’t turn into a little infestation.

What Do Rats Eat Indoors?

If you can spot rats outside your home, it is very possible they could also be taking up residence somewhere indoors. Attics, basements, and even walls can keep rats warm, fed, and happy enough to breed. While there isn’t much you can do about a rat problem once they’ve found a place to call their own inside (other than call a professional), you can discourage them from ever coming inside in the first place.

Inside your home, a rat will eat cereal, grains, beans, and garbage. Rats have a special love for sweets such as chocolate and peanut butter. Once a rat comes inside, it will essentially eat any food that it can find. 

Nothing is Sacred to a Rat 

No food anywhere in your home is safe. These small rodents are excellent climbers and scavengers. And considering they can survive outdoor environments, a warm indoor residence is a playground. 

A rat will generally target dry goods stored in a pantry such as chips and dried fruit, since those foods are the easiest to access with a simple nibble through a bag. A bowl of fruit or nuts sitting on your kitchen counter is also an easy target for a rat. A rat will even attempt to eat refrigerated items such as dairy or raw meat if it can find a way to secure them. Of course, pet food and treats are also at risk. 

Rat infestations can be stressful. If you notice a rat on your property, don't panic. One rat does not necessarily mean you have a dozen. However, you don't have to get rid of rats all by yourself. A trained specialist can help with every aspect of rat infestation. Thoroughly clean your yard and your home. Securing any food and water sources that may be attracting rats is a good first step. A pest control specialist can help you get rid of rats safely and effectively. If you want the rats on your property gone for good, a pest control specialist can help you rat-proof your home as well.

Miche Pest Control Gets Rid Of Rats In DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia

Miche Pest Control provides exterminating services for rats and other rodents for homes and businesses in the greater DC, Baltimore and Fairfax areas. Our expert technicians get rid of rodent infestations fast, and use preventative tactics to keep rodents from coming back after they're gone. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - give us a call today!

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