Roof rats are the second most common rat species in home infestations in the US. They are also known as black rats, and they tend to behave slightly differently from Norway rats. In this article, we’re going to take a more in depth look at this species and how it is controlled.
What are roof rats?
Roof rats are slightly smaller than Norway rats, at 14 inches long (tail included), and they prefer to nest, forage, hunt and travel above ground, either in trees, bushes, or across electrical wires. When infesting the home, they will tend to stick to the upper areas of the building, setting up in the attic or the higher floors. Besides that, their behaviors are pretty normal for a rat. They will look for food inside cupboards, scurry through the walls, and try to stay as hidden as possible.
Threats posed by roof rats
Rats pose several threats to the home and to the people living inside it. Materially speaking, the rats damage the home in two main ways. First, they destroy the insulation inside the walls, in order to use it to build nests. This can lead to higher heating and cooling bills. Second, they will gnaw on electrical wires, which may result in power outages, dead rats inside the walls, and a fire hazard.
Rats then pose a threat to the inhabitants of the home directly, through the diseases that they can spread. From salmonella to the hantavirus, rats can spread twenty or more diseases by themselves. However, rats often have parasites such as ticks and fleas, which can both spread diseases from rats to humans, and which carry diseases of their own such as Lyme.
How roof rats are removed
Because of the threats that they pose to the home and to you and your family, it’s important to get rid of roof rats as quickly as possible. In order to do this, you will need the help of a pest control team that will use traps and poisons to clear the entire building. The process may take a few days up to a week before the entire rat infestation is removed, and after it, the team you are working with can also implement some preventive measures to keep the rats out of the home in the future.
For more information on the roof rat, or if you have a roof rat infestation in your home, contact us today.