You have worked hard to make your house your sanctuary, and you want it to stay that way. The problem with making your house a sanctuary and an inviting place to live is that you aren't the only being who will see it that way. Rats are also going to look at your house as an inviting place to stay. They want to be able to stay in a warm, dry place where they can get plenty of food and water, and if that's your house, then that's where they might end up. So, how can you tell that you have rats?
One way to tell is that you can hear them scratching around in your walls and around your house as they are walking around and creating their homes. You may also hear them scratching as they climb up the walls on the outside of your house, if they are living in your attic. You may also hear some chewing noises, depending on what kind of rats are living in your house, where they are, and what they are doing.
Another way that you can tell that you have rats is because you see dark trails and rub marks along your walls and baseboards. You might see these marks along pipes or other things that would make good walkways and access points. Rats don't see very well, so they will stay up against a wall so that they can figure out where they are going. Rubbing along that wall frequently will leave the rub marks, which are made up of dirt and grease from the rat's fur. The darker the mark, the more rats there are or the longer they have been in your house. One benefit of the rub marks is that they can show the exterminator where the rats walk so the exterminator can put the traps or bait down in those areas.
Rats like to have nice cozy nests. That means that they are going to chew on your insulation, clothing, cardboard, and other similar things so that they can use them to line their nest. If you see loose material like that laying around, it can be a good sign that you have rats, and it can point you toward where they may be nesting.
If you think that you have rats, you should call residential pest control services. They can come check on your house for you and tell you if you do have rats and what kinds of options you have for getting rid of them.