What Do I Do If I Find a Nest of Baby Rats in My Attic?

It happens every so often. A person is cleaning out their attic or putting old books or clothing in this storage space when they realize that they have a nest of baby rat in the attic. They look around to see if a mother rat is present, but to no avail. Something's happened to the mother that she is either been injured or killed or has opted to abandon the babies. Now they are left to fend for themselves. What do you do about this?

Safety Is Job No. 1
Before taking any action at all, you must consider your own personal safety. Even baby rats can carry diseases, putting you at risk. This means that you need to wear clothes that cover all exposed skin, boots, gloves, and a surgical mask and goggles if you have them available. The particles from these animals' feces may carry parasites or bacteria that can be breathe than or attached to your skin. That puts you at risk, and you need to be safe. Also, you should not try to handle the animals directly by hand. They could bite or scratch you. Try to use a shovel or some similar object that allows you to scoop up the animals without handling them directly.

Move to a Safe Spot
If you have a cage or similar enclosed box, this is where you want to move the animals. You want something that enables you to store these animals securely without injuring them in any way. Leaving them inside the attic unattended may lead them to try to get away. This ensures that they will not be able to do so. It also eliminates any potential problem that may occur from a predator. These animals are completely unprotected right now. They do need someone to watch over them, and placing them inside a box or cage keeps them from escaping or getting eaten, maybe even by your own pets.

Contact Animal Control
Some may think that this is a great opportunity to keep the rats for themselves. That is actually not a good idea at all. These animals are still the carriers of diseases, and you don't want to put yourself and your family at risk. So, keeping them is not really an option. What you should do is contact your local animal control agency to get suggestions on where you can take the animals. They may know of a wildlife preserve or similar business that accepts these kind of animals to care for. Because they are babies, it is likely that you will be able to find someplace that will accommodate them. Once again, don't keep them for yourself. You just don't know the risk you may be putting your family. If you are unable to find someplace, you may be left briefly caring for them or simply releasing them someplace away from your house. It may be cruel, but it would be a lot crueler to put your family in harm's way.

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