Have you noticed rats in your home or garden? You might be wondering where rats live and what their habitats look like.

Rats make nests and their offspring are kept there when first born but spotting a nest might be something you’re unsure how to do.

To help you out, Pest Defence has shared how you can identify a rat’s nest and whether they’ll leave if you disturb them.

What does a rat’s nest look like?

Pest Defence explains on its website that if you were to see a rat’s nest, you would most likely see the outside as the inside is where they like to burrow so it’s not usually visible.

It says: “You will probably notice signs of clawing and gnawing around your home, but more concentrated around any small gaps and cracks that act as an entry point along walls and floors.

“Outside of your building, you may notice holes in the ground that act as a burrow entry down into the ground around the property.”

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Rats like to gather similar materials to birds when making nests so you might mistake their nest for a bird’s.

The soft materials that rats like to collect could include your insulation, paper, card or other textiles that they can chew up and shred whereas birds are more likely to collect leaves and twigs.

Look out for rat droppings near the nest area – you might also notice a pungent smell from their urine.

Should you disturb a rat’s nest and will they leave if you do?

Pest Defence says you shouldn’t disturb a rat’s nest as this will only make things worse whether you’re a homeowner or business owner.

Rats are known to carry “serious diseases” and this can be a risk for you and others around you.

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Pest Defence adds: “This can include leptospirosis, salmonellosis, plague, rat-bite fever, tularemia, bartonellosis and more.

“The pathogens that rats carry, usually in their fur, saliva, urine and droppings, can be spread even if you simply discover the nest and don’t actually come into direct contact with the rats themselves, because the particles become airborne.”

If you notice signs of rats on your property, you should get professional help from pest control experts.

You can find out more about rats via the Pest Defence website.