What are they?
Roof Rats are rather large animals, and can be as large as 8 to 12 inches.
Roof Rats live outside in tree tops, in fields, wooded areas, vacant lots, farms, and just about anywhere people have buildings. Rats are a problem in homes in urban and rural areas. Rats may find harborage in many areas in and around the home – especially in attics, crawlspaces, basements, stacked firewood, stones and bricks, and piles of leaves or other debris.
The best way to avoid invasions of Roof Rats is to (1) provide as little harborage as possible that might attract rodents, and (2) seal as many holes and cracks in the outside of the home through which mice might enter. Follow these recommendations to help prevent rodents from seeking the shelter provided by your home:
- Do not allow piles of leaves to accumulate next to the home’s foundation.
- Seal any hole or crack larger than 1/2 of an inch. A good rule of thumb is that if a thumb can fit into it, a Roof Rat could too.
- Apply weather-stripping to the bottom of all doors to prevent rodents from entering. The garage door may prove difficult to seal completely, so the door from the garage to the house must be sealed tightly.
- Use FORSYTH EXTERMINATING as your regular pest control company. Our wildlife experts have the experience and training needed to rid a structure of rodents promptly and effectively. Our professional exclusion methods ensure that rodents and other wildlife will never enter your home!
Roof rats or as they are known in the scientific community Rattus Rattus are the most commonly found rat in the country and are usually black or brown in color. They typically have a long pinkish colored tail that is longer than the length of their body and head combined. These rats are more at home living in close association with humankind as opposed to the Norwegian rat which is far more at home living in the wild far from mankind. Roof rats can be found living in buildings like grocery stores, any type of warehouse, stores that sell feed and seeds, grain storage facilities and more importantly they are now moving into people’s homes and creating problems. They can be found living close to the ground inside walls, crawl spaces and in basements, however much like their name says they prefer to live in attics among the rafters and crossbeams.
Roof rats use a variety of walkways to access their nests including water pipes, the beams and studs of the buildings, the electrical wiring and anything that can be used to access the places they like to hide. You can often track the paths that these rodents use because they leave a trail marked by grease and dirt everywhere they go. Much like their larger cousins the Norway rat, Roof rats are a nocturnal creature. The only time you are likely to see a roof rat in the daylights is when they are present in very large numbers. One of the biggest problems with Roof rats is that they breed several times during the year with a gestation period of only 21 days. The typical litter is approximately seven which means one pair of rats can produce several dozen offspring per year.
The young mature rapidly and begin to produce their own litters adding to the population of the infestation to the point where your home can be overrun with rats within a one year period of time. Roof rats will eat almost anything that has any nutritional value including human foods, grains, meats and greens. At the same time they tend to be very destructive to your property, they will chew anything to keep their teeth from becoming too long or getting dull, like the mouse their teeth tend to grow constantly and the chewing helps to keep their teeth worn down and sharpen them at the same time. In some cases they have been known to cause house fires by chewing through electrical wires and causing short circuits.
All of these are good reasons to try and get rid of any Roof rats in your home, but perhaps the most important reason to use a company like Forsyth Exterminating to rid your home of these pests is your family’s health. All rats carry diseases both on their bodies and in their urine and feces. Among these diseases are typhus, ratbite fever and the one disease known to have been responsible for the deaths of millions in 1665-666 with the Great Plague, also known as bubonic plague.