As creatures of the night, rats like to hide in between walls, in cupboards, and in other small, dark places during the day.
If you accidentally find a rat has been living in your wall closet, chances are, opening that closet is the last thing you’d want to do. But how long do you have to wait before the rat is no longer a threat?
On a general note, rats trapped inside a wall-closet won’t last a week or two, given that there’s no way out or no source of food or water. However, if your closet is made up of wood, chances are, it’ll likely find a way out and escape.
Depending on what your closet is made of and its durability, a rat may simply chew their way out. Rats have extremely sharp teeth, and they can gnaw their way out of the closet, chew through the walls, and eventually make their way out into the open.
Other factors may also come into play. Given that there is no escape and no food or water, the temperature may also play a crucial role in the rat’s survival.
Of course, hotter temperatures may mean that the rat won’t last as long, but cooler temperatures may give the rat a fighting chance. If it’s wintertime and your closet is located in a cool area of the house, the rat may be able to survive for a week or two.
How Long Can Rats Survive Without Food or Water
A rat’s lifespan lasts up to two years when living in a shelter, like your home. In the wild, their chances of survival drastically change depending on their living conditions and food availability.
When they’re out and about, hunting for food and water, their survival depends on how much they can find.
On average, rats only live for about five to six months when they’re out in the wild. When they’re inside a home, however, their chances of survival since there’s a constant supply of food and water.
As for a rat’s survivability without food or water, whether you’re curious about a rat that’s trapped in your wall closet or one that’s out in the wild, their chances of surviving without food are slim.
Technically, rats won’t be able to live without food for a week, maybe stretched into two weeks.
However, when there’s a water source, it’s a completely different story. These pests are able to live without water for about a month.
They only need a small amount to survive, and most of the time, they’re able to get this from the condensation on the walls, pipes, and other areas inside your home.
How to Get Rid of Rats Inside Your Wall Closet
Discovering a pest inside your wall closet is not the best news, and nobody likes to deal with what’s behind the shut door. But the reality is, you’ll have to open it eventually and face the problem.
The first step is to try and identify how the rat got in. Is there a hole in the wall? Is there a crack in the foundation? Have you left the closet door open?
Once you identify the opening, block it off so that other rats don’t come in. Getting to the main point of entry is your first task.
Once you’ve plugged up the main opening, you can now start to think about how you’re going to get the rat out. One of the best ways is by using a live trap.
You can bait it with some food, and once the rat is inside, you can release it into the wild. Alternatively, you can also use a rat snap trap if you don’t like the idea of keeping a live pest inside your closet.
The above only works if you have one rat hiding in your wall closet. However, if you’ve been hearing scritches and scratches coming from inside the walls, then you may have a bigger problem on your hands.
The rats may have nested in between your walls, causing a much bigger problem. You have the option to call an exterminator to help you with this serious issue. They have the experience and the right equipment to reach those hard-to-reach places.
Once you’ve taken out the rats, clean up the area. Remove any droppings, nesting materials, and food that’s been scattered around. If there’s any damage to the walls or foundation, repair it so that other pests don’t come in.
Rats who’ve been accidentally trapped inside a wall closet may have a chance of surviving it for a few days or maybe a couple of weeks.
Identify how it got in there in the first place and block off the opening to prevent other rats from getting in. This way, you can avoid a serious infestation.
If you’re dealing with more than one rat, make sure that you take the necessary steps to get rid of them completely.
This includes calling an exterminator if needed. Take the time to clean up the area and repair any damage that’s been caused by these pests.