Roof rats are the second most common rat species in home infestations. They can pose a serious threat to both the integrity of the building and the health of the inhabitants. Let’s take a closer look at these rats and everything you need to know about them.
The roof rat is also known as the black rat, which gives us an indication about this rat’s appearance. It usually has a dark brown or black fur, with a light underbelly, and a length of up to 16 inches when you include the tail in the measurement.
The roof rat will build nests in trees and tall bushes when it is out in the open. It is also in this elevated vegetation where it will find food such as eggs, small birds, caterpillars, fruit, seeds and nuts. When inside the home, the roof rat will prefer to set up in the upper floors or the attic, and it will eat pretty much anything it can get its paws on, including pet food and garbage. It will also continuously gnaw on various surfaces and objects, including electrical wiring.
To prevent a roof rat infestation you will have to take care of three main things – food sources, access points, and clutter. These are the three major reasons why roof rats and rodents in general enter the home. As such, you want to keep food sources out of reach by storing everything, including pet food, in sealed containers. Any access point in the exterior wall of the home has to be sealed. We’re talking about cracks, gaps and openings that are wider than half an inch. And when it comes to clutter, you want to keep it to a minimum, because roof rats love it and use it for shelter and cover.
Controlling roof rat infestations is done with either traps or poisons, and the process can be difficult. Roof rats tend to have sharp survival instincts combined with paranoia and a degree of intelligence. This helps them avoid control efforts that are not properly applied, and it’s why it is best to work with a pro when dealing with such an infestation.
For more information about the roof rat, or if you have a roof rat infestation in your home, contact us today and one of our team members will help you out.