Will rats leave if there is no food? Yes, but it takes time. Rats enter our homes for food, shelter, and to have babies. They stay because of the available food, as they eat almost anything we do. Rats can be troublesome, damaging food, clothes, papers, and more. They even eat our food.
They keep changing places, which makes it hard for us to find and get rid of them. Even when they cannot get to your food, rats can stay in your house for about a week, searching for anything to eat. They only leave when they’re tired of searching and causing trouble, looking for a new place to go.
Will Rats Leave if There is No Food?
Yes, rats will leave eventually when there is no food, but not without causing some trouble first. Rats often enter our homes looking for food, and they will eat pretty much anything they can find – from cereals, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds, to vegetables.
Even if it is just leftover bits in trash bins, they’re known for making a mess of our food storage areas and then sneaking away.
If you store your food really well, so rats can’t get to it, they will eventually go away due to hunger.
These critters only leave when they can’t find food within about 100 to 300 feet from their nest. So, if they can still find food within that range, they are not likely to go away.
Even if the food is from your neighbor’s house, rats might make a home in your place and have babies, causing more rat problems. So, just starving them won’t make them leave. You will need to use other ways to control pests if you want to get rid of them.
rats leave if there is no food
How Long Can Rats Go Without Food?
Experts of Harrison County Health Department, Indiana, confirm that “Rats cannot live without food.”
But how long can they survive without food? The time a rat can go without food varies based on its type. There are different kinds of rats, some living in homes while others in the wild like jungles. Generally, rats cannot survive long without food and become very weak if they do not eat.
Rats usually survive for about a week without food, which is good news. Even if they really try, they can only go without food for up to 2 weeks. That’s the longest they can manage.
Dealing with these bothersome creatures is tough since they often have some food saved to snack on. Interestingly, they can go even longer without water than without food.
What Do Rats Eat if There is No Food?
While rats really enjoy our food, what do they eat when there is none around? They won’t complain, that’s for sure. In such situations, they eat more than just our home food. They might nibble on stuff such as clothes, shoes, your pet’s poop, paint, foil made of aluminum, cardboard, and wood.
Rats, when they can’t find their usual food, eat things like compost, spoiled food in bins and on the ground, mushrooms, fungi, spoiled veggies, car wires, and even animal remains. They might also sneak into farms and munch on vegetables like potatoes, radishes, and carrots.
Certain types of wild sewer-dwelling rats, different from the black rats, have a menu that includes worms, fish, and small animals like geckos and birds, and they’re even fans of insects and leeches. And, yes, rats can eat cockroaches.
If your yard or house has lots of slugs, snails, and insects, starving rats becomes difficult. You might need to consider using rat poison to get rid of them.
Can You Starve Rats Out?
You can starve rats out but that will be tough. It might only succeed if they can’t find anything apart from your kitchen food.
If you block their access to your food through good storage, they’ll eventually leave after many tries to find food. They’ll scatter around, searching everywhere for something to eat. Eventually, they might vanish to another place. But remember, some rats learn to survive on different food sources.
When you keep food away, rats try different things they usually would not eat. They might go for rotten food, worms, snails, insects, or even stuff from your neighbor’s trash.
There are cases of rats eating strange things like art supplies, wallpaper paste, pet food, and even other dead rats or animals. Only when they cannot find any of these things will rats finally leave. Simply starving them might not make them go away.
How Do You Know if the Rats Are Gone?
When rats leave if there is no food, you want to be sure. There are many ways to figure out if the rats are gone from your place. When rats are living in your house, they leave signs like noises, especially when they have babies. But once they are gone, these sounds will stop.
Rats also leave a lot of droppings in the house. Once they’re gone, you won’t see or smell these droppings anymore, except for the old ones from before.
You can also check for little smudges, items they might have used for nesting like shredded paper or torn clothes. If you don’t find anything new, just the stuff that was already there, then you don’t have rats anymore.
At night, these rats move around and make scratching sounds. We often hear them crawling everywhere, even knocking things over in the kitchen. If their noisy nighttime activities stop, it probably means they are not around anymore.
You can also put out traps with food to see if rats are still moving around in your home. If you don’t notice any changes around the traps, it might mean the rats are gone.
Conclusion – Will Rats Leave if There is No Food
Indeed, rats will once they run out of food. However, storing food away is not enough, and you can’t be so perfect doing it. This method of rat control is often best used as one of the measures to control rat presence in your home.
Ultimately, if you suspect that rats are not entirely gone, you should contact your local pest control for assistance. They will use humane measures to help you find out if there are still rats in your house, as well as get rid of them.
Read also: Safer Method for Destroying a Rats Nest