8 Signs You Might Have a Rat Problem in New Orleans

Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus)

Finding rats at your home in New Orleans? Yikes! They chew on everything, leave droppings, and can make you sick.

Notice gnawed furniture, weird grease marks, or hear scratching at night? That’s them. Rats love to stay hidden, but nests in your garden or strange smells give them away.

Seeing these signs means it’s time to act fast. Keep reading to learn how to kick these critters out for good.

1. Rat Droppings Around Your Space

Rodent droppings are a telltale sign of an infestation. They are small, dark, and resemble grains of rice in shape but pose significant health risks.

As homeowners, you should specifically check these areas for mouse droppings:

  • Under sinks
  • Inside cupboards
  • Near food packages

2. Strange Noises at Night

Being nocturnal, rats are active at night, making strange squeaking noises, such as:

  • Scurrying across floorboards at night
  • Scratching noises within walls or ceilings

Especially at night, pay extra attention to these noises. Investigate attics, basements, and crawl spaces where rats will likely nest.

3. Gnaw Marks On Household Items

Rats leave visible gnaw marks on various household items. Regularly inspect the following items for gnaw marks, especially potential food sources in the pantry.

MaterialSigns to Look ForPotential Risks
Food PackagingTooth marks, gnawing damageContamination, access to food sources
Electrical WiresFraying, rat holes from gnawingFire hazards
Drywall and DeckingTooth marks, scampering noisesStructural damage

4. Footprints and Tail Trails in Dusty Areas

Rats leave behind footprints and tail trails in their usual runways. To confirm rat presence in your baseboards, drywall, and other less frequented places:

  • Sprinkle flour or talcum powder in suspected areas.
  • Look for footprints, tail trails, and greasy smudges.

5. Unpleasant Odors

Rats create pungent, musty odors due to their urine and droppings. You can detect these smells by:

  • Paying attention to odors in seldom-visited areas.
  • Following the scent to identify other mouse infestation signs.

6. Rat Sightings

Seeing rats, alive or dead, clearly indicates a severe infestation. Here are some places to spot certain rat species in New Orleans.

Rat SpeciesLocation
Roof ratsTypically found in higher places
Brown rats or Norway ratsFound on the ground

7. Burrows Around Properties

The presence of rat burrows around your property indicates an outdoor infestation.  Look for these signs:

  1. Disturbed soil under buildings
  2. Excavation near garbage disposal areas

Confirming a burrow presence should lead to consultation with pest control specialists.

8. Rat Nests in Secluded Areas

Rats create nests from shredded paper, fabric, and insulation in warm, hidden areas. 

To confirm their presence, check these secluded areas for nesting materials:

  • Behind appliances
  • In garage corners
  • Attic spaces


Encountering a rat in your home can be akin to an unwanted surprise party – startling and definitely not on the wishlist.

If any signs are more than a one-off and the DIY traps are just gathering dust, it’s probably time to consider calling in pest control professionals.

Whether you’re in New Orleans or Baton Rouge, seeking expert help should be easy. For immediate intervention for a severe infestation, let Lajaunie’s rat control specialists tailor a solution that’s right for your home.

For more information about the areas we service, visit our location page.