Do Rats Come Out In Light Or Avoid Light?

Most people don’t expect to see rats in their home or on their property, for multiple reasons. The average person likes to think that their home is rat-proof, which may or may not be true. The fact is that rats only need a small space to get inside and if your property offers food or shelter, they may do just that. The other reason most people don’t expect to see rats is because of the common perception that they avoid the light. When it comes down to it, however, this is a misconception.

Do Rats Avoid Light?
The myth of rats avoiding light comes from the fact that they are typically nocturnal, meaning they are active at night. As such, rats are used to being active when it is dark out and don’t need extra light to be able to see. Even so, they will occasionally venture out during the day when it is light outside. Since these animals are used to both dark and light settings, you can see them when it is light outside. After all, domestic rats don’t hide when their humans turn on the lights; wild rats aren’t any different.

In certain situations, rats are actually more likely to come out during the day, even if it is lighter outside. An example would be if they live in a building that is more active at night, such as a club, or if they are competing with dominant rats for food. When it comes down to it, rats will venture out for food whenever they feel is safest. That just happens to typically be at night although this won’t always hold true.

The Caveat
While rats are comfortable in the light, they will typically avoid it simply due to their nature. There are also certain types of lights that they may make additional effort to avoid, such as flashing lights. That is why so many companies sell light machines designed to deter rats; they have their basis in fact. The thing to remember, however, is that over time, the rats will get used to any lighting, even these flashing ones.

What To Do If You See A Rat
If you see a rat on your property, you should try to figure out how it got there and what attracted it, then take care of both. You will want to use a snap trap to humanely kill the rodent, remove any attractants like food sources, and seal up the entry points the rat used. Be prepared for more than one rat to present since they tend to be social creatures.