The grossest rat infestations you'll ever see

May 31, 2014 at 9:07 a.m. ET

One of the worst parts of being a homeowner is the possibility of a rat infestation. Enough to make your skin crawl, these are some of the nastiest rodent invasions around. From the attic to the exterior of your home, we've got you covered on what you can do to prevent the nasty little visitors and when you should call the exterminator.

The attic

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There are numerous ways that a rodent can get into your home, but the most popular space in your home is most likely the attic, due to its accessibility. Check your attic regularly, paying close attention to the insulation, as this is where you are most likely to see chew marks and/or droppings. Also, examine the exterior for any crawl spaces that are allowing the rodents to come in.

Electrical wiring

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Whether found in your attic or within the walls of your home, rodents are known to chew through anything and everything. If you hear odd noises through your walls or your electricity starts shorting or stops working altogether, you may want to contact a pest control company or electrician to check for rodents.

The kitchen

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Rodents enjoy the same food as humans, therefore, you are likely to catch them hanging out in the kitchen. They are easily attracted to food that has been left out for long periods of time, fruit, grains, bread crumbs and animal droppings. Consistently clean your kitchen and always pick up after spills, drops and animals. Do not leave composting or decomposing items out, as rodents are drawn to these items.

Basement

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Another high traffic area for rodents, the basement is a damp environment that contains household items that rodents are easily drawn to, including the water heater and furnace. A rat can easily make its way into the basement through cracks in the wall or foundation. If you're unable to repair the damage, consistently pick up droppings and get rid of older furniture that a rodent may make its nest in.

Storage

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Rodents thrive in storage sheds and garages filled with boxes, newspaper and clothing. Store things in plastic Rubbermaid containers or consistently spray and adjust items to inspect for signs of rodents. Throw away anything that might lure a rat into your storage area, such as things with potent smells, food, etc.

Garbage

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Your garbage can is probably the No. 1 thing that a rodent is attracted to in your home. To avoid an infestation, always keep your lid closed and secure. Take decomposing items directly to the trash can and tightly wrap them in additional bags to avoid attracting the rodents. If a rodent has been able to find your garbage can, immediately clean it with hot water and bleach or baking soda.

Backyard sludge

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Rats are known for hiding under overgrown branches, bushes and, yes, even sewage drainage. If you have excess drainage that has not been dumped and you begin to notice a foul smell, it may be time to investigate.

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