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Q: when’s a RAT not a RAT?
A: when it’s a bird!

ACES pest control has been taking a few calls recently from concerned Auckland home owners, alarmed that they can hear a rat on their roof!

They report they can hear the sound of small paws running in their attic space. On further investigation its turns out these noises are coming from birds running along their roof.

The customers are correct that both sound very similar. So how do you know which is which?

It comes down to the times of the sounds and understanding that one is nocturnal and other is not.

Rats are nocturnal, that is they stir from their sleep at dusk, depending on the season from 8pm-11pm. They then go out looking for food and return between 2am and 4 pm.  Customers commonly report hearing rats at two distinct times, early evening and early morning.

Birds on the other hand are asleep at night and stir around six am. Bird are more active around spring early summer when they raise their young.

Customers have called in reporting rat like noises at 6-7am. At this time rat are asleep in their nests. Whereas birds are just getting going for their day. Following an inspection ACES found no signs of rodents, but there was evidence that birds were present.

Please note, above is the “rule”. Rats that are active outside of nocturnal hours are sick and or diseased. This is the exception to the rule  and is uncommon.