Bug Blog

Identifying And Eliminating Roof Rats

Many people have to deal with pests all year round. However, most do not have to deal with rodents, unless they live in an area of the US where this problem is prevalent. One of these areas is found in the South and along the coasts, where roof rats are rampant.

Identifying the roof rat

It’s sometimes hard to tell whether you have a roof rat, Norway rat or mouse infestation in the home. All of these species can scurry around in your home and attic. What sets the roof rat apart is that it is smaller than the Norway rat, but larger than the mouse, with a tail that is longer than its body. They are usually black in color, while the Norway rat tends to be brown or gray.

However, seeing a roof rat is sometimes difficult, because it is a nocturnal animal that forages during the night. Thankfully, there are other signs of the infestation, and these might be more useful when trying to determine the species of the rodent in your home. One of these signs, and perhaps the most telling, are the droppings. Roof rats have droppings that are about half of an inch in length with pointed ends. These droppings are smaller than those of a rat, but bigger than mouse droppings, and the shape is distinctive. Other signs of an infestation include gnawed electrical wiring, nests found in the insulation, and hollowed out fruit trees in your yard.

Getting rid of the roof rat

You have several options for getting rid of the roof rat if you want to do it yourself, and they fall under two main categories: traps and repellents. In terms of traps, you have snap, glue and electric taps, and when it comes to repellents you have scent and ultrasonic repellents.

In your traps, you will also need to use baits. This is where identifying the species of the infestation beforehand comes in useful, because roof rats have their own distinctive diets. Your traps can be baited with dried fruit, nuts, berries, nesting material such as dental floss, insects, peanut butter and snail shells.

It’s also worth mentioning that rats will be suspicious whenever a new food source appears in their environment, so you will have to lay the bait without any traps for the first few days, until the rats start to get comfortable with it and trust it as a safe food source.

If however, the infestation is large enough, you will need the help of a pro to remove the rats from your home. Contact us today if you have any issues with roof rats or want a free roof rat evaluation.