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Like any other mammal that nests in the attic of a building, the rat will have offspring there. The similarities between the reproductive behavior of this nuisance rodent and other pest species that nest or roost in our attics kind of end at that.
Like no other mammal that invades our structures, the rat will reproduce at a disturbing rate, one single female rat being able to produce up to 10 litters of babies per year. One single litter can consist of up to 14 baby rats, but litters of 7 to 8 individuals are more common.
Rats are extremely cautious, and mother rats will not only be mindful of their surroundings, but also about the safety of their babies. The nest will probably be set in the insulation of the house, and it will be round, very small, and coated with plant debris. In other words, the nest of baby rats will be very difficult to find.
Learn what wildlife rehabilitators do with rodents.
When talking about other mammals that give birth and nurse their young in attics, I always place a big accent on finding the nest, and safely removing the babies. When it comes to baby rats, however, I’ve learned that going through the trouble of finding the babies is not only an impossible mission most of the time, but it’s also wasted time and energy even if you are able to locate them. I use lethal snap traps to eliminate adult rats from an attic, and babies have no chance of surviving without their mothers even if I manage to save them. And I don’t mean to come across as insensitive, I do appreciate rats as I appreciate all our biodiversity – but not really, though. They’re still rats even if they are intelligent and capable of feelings, so at the risk of sounding insensitive, I do value the life of a baby squirrel or a baby bat more than I value the lives of a hundred baby rats. In addition, unlike baby raccoons, for example, that are bigger and will produce a dreadful strong smell if their bodies start to rot, baby rats are tiny and thin, and won’t produce such a sickening odor. Also, assuming rat removal has been done correctly and professionally, decontaminating the attic will also take care of the litter issue.
In conclusion, I don’t deliberately look for a nest of babies when I perform rat removal, and I don’t recommend that you do either. As explained above, there’s no much sense in doing so. For more information, you may want to click on one of these guides that I wrote:
How much does rat removal cost? - get the lowdown on prices.
How to get rid of rats - my main rat removal info guide.
Example rat trapping photographs - get do-it-yourself ideas.
Rat job blog - learn from great examples of rat jobs I've done.