Have you been hearing noises in the attic, ceilings, or in the walls? It most likely could be roof rats. But what exactly is a roof rat? How did they get inside? And how do you get rid of roof rats?
Forcing roof rats to leave for good is best done by a pest control specialist. Rat roof control and prevention involves confirming roof rat signs, inspecting roofs and attics, and executing a roof rat removal plan.
Keep reading to learn what exactly roof rats are, the physical and financial dangers, signs you have roof rats, and how to get rid of roof rats.
What is A Roof Rat?
Roof rats, also referred to as ship rats or black rats, are small sized rodents that receive their name from their liking for finding shelter in the higher parts of buildings. Roof rats can cause significant damage from spreading diseases to damaging property and even causing house fires.
What Do They Look Like?
Roof rats are either black or brown, with long tails, large ears, large eyes, and a pointed nose. They are small rodents with smooth hair. Their tails are very long and are usually longer than their heads and bodies.
Norway Rat vs Roof Rat
Roof rats and Norway rats are both common rodents that invade homes. If you suspect you have rats in your home, it’s important to identify which type of rodent it is. Roof rats are slightly smaller than Norway rats. Roof rats also have a longer tail than Norway rats.
How Do Roof Rats Get Inside?
Roof rats can enter through a small hole the size of one-half inch. They also chew their way through entry holes, gaps in the roof, fitting through cracks and crevices.
Roof rats prefer to stay in elevated places, so it’s likely you’ll spot them climbing on trees, telephone lines, or in the attics of homes.
Do Roof Rats Cause Diseases?
Yes— Roof rats spread diseases through their droppings, urine, and saliva. They can contaminate food and other items with their droppings or through chewing due to bacteria in their mouths. Roof rats transfer diseases from either contamination, droppings, physical contact, wounds, or fleas that have bitten roof rats.
It’s True: Roof Rats Cause Fires
Not only are roof rats extremely dangerous because of disease transmission, they also can cause extreme damage— both physically and financially. Rodents chew on electrical wires, which causes the wire to be exposed. When the wire’s exposed, it may come in contact with insulation or other materials and this can ignite a fire.
Signs You Have Roof Rats
1. Hearing noises in your attic, ceiling, or walls
2. Do your pets hear noises?
Cats and dogs may detect the noises from roof rats before you do. Be aware of the behavior of your pets.
Please note that rat droppings can transmit diseases that can make you, your loved ones, and your pets extremely sick. If you notice rat droppings in or around your home, call your local pest control company.
4. Spotting a Rodent
Many homeowners discover they have roof rats by spotting one in their home.
How to Get Rid of Roof Rats
1. Don’t leave pet food outside.
Rats may gather around your home and steal your pet’s meal. Bring the food inside, and make sure to store pet food in a container with a tight lid.
2. Seal entry points.
It’s important to block entryways, and seal all entry points to prevent rodents from getting inside.
3. Trim Branches.
You want to prevent rats from having a way to get to your roof. Trim or remove tree limbs that are within 8-10 feet of the roof of your home. This prevents rats from climbing from tree limbs to the roof of your home.
4. Conceal your garbage.
It is important to make sure that your trash cans have tight-fitting lids and are preferably made of metal.
5. Keep the outside of your home clean.
Trim the bushes and shrubs outside of your home away from the ground so that nothing can hide underneath them. Also, be sure to store firewood at least a foot off the ground and do not make brush piles in your yard as this makes a perfect home for rodents.
7. Tidy up your garage and shed.
If you like to garden make sure to keep your plant seeds and fertilizer stored in a sealed container as these are viable food sources for rats and mice. Also, do not store firewood in your garage or shed, as this is a potential nesting site for rats and mice.
8. Get an inspection for roof rats.
If you suspect you have rodents in your home or have seen rodents, contact us at Any Pest to schedule your free roof rat inspection. We’ll come out and check for signs of roof rats and determine the best solution.
Roof rats can damage your property and spread disease to you, your loved ones, and your pets so it may be dangerous or inefficient to try to deal with on your own. Follow these tips for how to get rid of roof rats and to prevent a rodent infestation at your home. If you hear or see signs of roof rats, it’s important to call your local pest control company for an inspection. Contact Any Pest, Inc. today for a free estimate.