Do You Have Roof Rats?
Rodents are some of the most common pests in the world, and most people do not like cohabitating with them. They are not only scary but have been known to spread diseases widely. But of all the rodents in the world, some of the most prolific and problematic are roof rats. This reputation is because they will often nest in your roof or attic, and you may only realize you have a problem once it's significant. How do you know you have roof rats? Here are some tell-tell signs and how to get rid of them if you do.
What Are Roof Rats?
Roof rats are large black or brown rodents that can grow over a foot long, including their tail. They are slightly smaller than the common Norway rat. They are named for their affinity for nesting in high places such as your lofts, attic, roof, or outdoors in trees.
You may also hear them called black rats, ship rats, or tree rats. They are omnivores with an affinity for fruit, vegetables, and seeds but will eat almost anything. While initially thought to be from Southeast Asia, they can now be found worldwide but are especially common in southern areas of the country.
How Do You Know If You Have Roof Rats?
Because roof rats are nocturnal and tend to stay overhead, an infestation is often hard to detect. Signs that they may be in your home include the following:
- Noise coming from your attics or walls (especially during the evening or at night)
- Your pet looking up and barking
- Rat droppings along your baseboards
- Gnaw marks on your wood or wiring
Once roof rats are in your home, they will quickly nest and reproduce and can quickly grow to large numbers.
How Do They Get Into Your Home?
Roof rats are great climbers and can get their bodies through any hole their head fits through. They will access your home by creating bridges from adjacent trees to shrubs. They will also come through small cracks and gaps along your foundation or roof line. They can enter through roof vents or openings around pipes.
What Can You Do?
If you suspect you have an infestation of roof rats, the best thing you can do is to call a professional exterminator. While over-the-counter traps and poisons may work on some, they do not guarantee that you will capture or kill the entire colony. Any remaining rats will continue to breed and perpetuate the cycle.