I see what I think are rat burrows in my crawl space. There are holes I’m seeing in the soil, about 3 inches wide, and trails which seem to be mostly against the foundation wall leading around two sides in the space. It looks like whatever is coming out of the holes is walking around down there and then coming up into the house!! I haven’t seen anything inside but they must be somewhere. What can I do?
What you’re describing does indeed sound like a rat. Norway rats are most likely to burrow or dig tunnels like you’re describing and they typically will forage up into the living area of the home if given the chance. I suggest you leave everything as is and trap them out.
To start trapping, it would be best if you were able to find or discover where they might be feeding. Typically rats will take advantage of bird seed or pet food. If you have either in the home, do a good inspection where you’re keeping it. Chances are your little unwanted friend is visiting this area and that’s where you will want to place out the rat trap. Look for droppings or other signs.
If you are unable to find any such location, I suggest you place some bird seed or pet food down in the crawl space, as close to the burrows as you can, to first make sure they are active. If you find this placement gets taken, set up one of our rat live traps with the same food in it as bait. In theory, you should be able to trap out all that are living in this area within a few days. Once removed, you can then close up all the tunnels by using dirt and a shovel or something to collapse them where visible. After that, inspect them weekly for a month to make sure they don’t reappear. If you don’t see any in a month, inspect the crawl space quarterly for a year to insure new rats don’t arrive. Since some found their way into the home it’s likely others will unless you set up some rat repellent around the outside of the building but don’t do this till you are sure the ones currently active have all been removed. As explained in our rat control article, the scent left by active rats will tend to attract new ones for a long time.