Discover the Signs of Roof Rats and How to Prevent the Rodent from Taking Over Your House or Business
Roof rats carry dozens of potential diseases ranging from the bubonic plague and typhus to salmonellosis and rat-bite fever. These rodents are excellent climbers that prefer nesting in the upper areas of buildings and structures. When threatened, they can also be aggressive.
Rats can squeeze through tiny openings to gain entry to buildings after climbing rough surfaces, vines, trees, and power lines. The ability to act quickly is essential for preventing roof rats from taking over because they can reproduce quite quickly.
Once mature, roof rats can produce two to six litters per year. Each litter can have upwards of eight young.
How Do You Know if You Have Roof Rats?
One surefire sign of roof rats is seeing one, either dead or alive. However, these animals are nocturnal like most other rodents, so you might not see them at all. Instead, it’s possible to notice other common signs of roof rats, such as:
- Droppings: Roof rat droppings are approximately 1/2 inch long with pointed ends.
- Gnaw marks: Roof rats often chew on household goods, packages of food, and wooden structures.
- Sounds: Rats often make clawing or screeching sounds at night, particularly in the attic or walls.
- Rub marks: Tracks of dark, greasy marks from the rats moving along walls, rafters, and fixtures become noticeable.
Roof Rats vs. Norway Rats: What’s the Difference?
The most common rats found throughout New England are Norway rats, while roof rats are not as common in the area. So, it’s more likely that the rodent creating a headache for you to be the Norway rat.
The approach to eliminate them using effective rodent control measures is similar. However, these two rats have some significant differences that help with identification. Size, appearance, and behavior are three ways to identify the type of rat causing the problem.
Although rare for the area, homeowners and business owners should still have an understanding of what to look for in terms of roof rats and the importance of a professional handling the situation.
Roof Rats’ Size and Appearance
Roof rats are the smaller of the two rats. These critters usually measure between three and eight inches in length, with a long tail and brown/black fur with white or gray undersides. Norway rats grow anywhere from 10 to 18 inches long, with brownish-gray fur and hairless ears and tails.
Roof Rat Behavior
Roof rats love finding their shelter and food above ground. These rodents aren’t afraid to climb branches and scamper across utility lines to access roofs of businesses and homes in search of food and shelter. Norway rats prefer to stay at ground level, often burrowing into the ground or trash piles. These rats also use drainpipes, vents, and gaps to move around or gain entry into buildings.
How to Eliminate a Rat Infestation
At Catseye Pest Control, we take a three-step approach: removal, cleanup, and exclusion. Trapping rats without professional help or using poisons to kill them can lead to additional problems, particularly because handling rodents poses a significant health risk.
Professional rodent control is always a go-to for effective, lasting results. Additional measures to take include eliminating rats’ food sources by storing food items in sealed containers and cleaning up any fruit or debris outside. Sound and visual deterrents can provide short-term relief, although roof rats are very adaptable and will eventually return.
Sealing off potential entry points to prevent these rodents from getting in or returning is one of the most effective ways to get rid of them for good. Pay close attention to the roof area and seal gaps and cracks with metal, steel wool, or concrete. Wildlife exclusion systems are available for residential and commercial use. These permanent barriers protect vulnerable areas, providing safe, natural, lasting results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Rats
What Sound Does a Rat Make in the Roof?
Roof rats make all kinds of noises when they’re active, usually at night. You might hear gnawing, scampering, scratching, chirping, and screeching. These sounds may be noticeable in the roof area, attic, or walls.
Where do Roof Rats Live During the Day?
Roof rats are active at night and spend most of the day in their nests. Common areas for roof rats to nest include the space above drop ceilings and inside attics.
What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Roof Rats?
The fastest way to get control of a roof rat infestation is with professional pest control. Companies like Catseye use integrated pest management methods (IPM) to quickly and safely get rid of roof rats and other pests.
What Attracts Roof Rats to Your House?
Lush landscaping and dense vegetation outdoors attract roof rats in search of shelter and cover, making them more likely to infest nearby homes and buildings. Easy access to food sources like fruit trees and garbage also attracts roof rats.
Get Help with Rat Control from Catseye Pest Control
If you suspect a rat infestation, don’t try to handle the situation on your own.
These rodents quickly reproduce, and the population can quickly explode, creating more damage and chances of possible health issues. At the first signs of roof rats, contact Catseye for efficient, effective removal and control, starting with a free, detailed inspection.