Rats are very adept at survival. They have latched on to human beings, and followed us wherever we went around the world. Not only that, but they managed to survive and thrive in any environment where we managed to do the same. They can survive in temperate climates, tropical climates and everything in between. So it comes as no surprise that rats can survive the winter. But how do they do it exactly?

Finding shelter

The first thing rats need during the winter is shelter, and they will find this shelter inside of your home. Our homes have everything a rat could want – food, warmth, and water. It basically extends their life by a few years if they manage to set up indoors successfully. To prevent the rats from entering the home or finding it appealing, you will have to make sure that you seal all possible entry points, which include holes larger than a nickel in diameter.

Food stockpiles

If rats have ensured that they can survive the cold weather, their next priority will be food. Rats will start to prepare for winter by stockpiling food, since they are not able to hibernate or fatten up. They will start this process in autumn, extending the area in which they search for food. This can often lead them inside the home. If their stockpiles do run out during the colder months, they will start looking for human settlements to fill the demand.


Rats reproduce throughout the year, which means that they need proper nesting locations and materials. A rat nest is similar to that of a bird, but it is much less organized – it’s basically a pile of shredded material such as plants, cardboard, insulation, feathers, plastic and soft rubbish. The best nesting locations have to be warm of course, but they also have to be dark and hidden from predators. This means that the perfect nesting locations over winter are found inside wall voids, in the basement or in the attic of a home.

Dealing with rats in winter

Rats are a big problem during the winter, because they are more or less driven by desperation. If you do have a rat infestation during this winter, make sure to get in touch with us and we will remove it swiftly. You can also contact us if you have problems with other rodents or pretty much any pest that’s out there.