What is a roof rat?
The roof rat, also known as the black rat, is the second most common rat species found in US home infestations. It is slightly smaller than the Norway rat, at 16 inches in length, tail included, and it has a black or dark brown fur. The name “roof rat” stems from the fact that this species will often infest the upper levels of the home, and the fact that it almost always prefers elevated locations to build its nests, such as trees or the upper sides of bushes.
Are roof rats a big threat?
Roof rats are as big of a threat as any other rat species. They can cause damage to the home and they can spread several dangerous diseases. In terms of the damage that they do, most of it will be superficial, but since they will build their nests inside wall voids, they will actually gnaw on insulation and on electrical wires, which can lead to lower energy efficiency and fire hazards. The diseases that these rats can spread include everything from the plague to salmonella and rat-bite fever.
How do you prevent roof rat infestations?
To prevent roof rat infestations, you have to address two main issues – food and entry points. Roof rats will be drawn to the home by the smell of food, so you have to make sure that all your food is in sealed containers. This includes pet food, and your garbage, because rats will be drawn to both if they can smell them. When it comes to entry points, you will have to examine the exterior of your home for any crack or gap large enough for a rat to squeeze through and then seal them.
How do you control roof rat infestations?
Roof rat infestations are controlled using either rats or poisons. However, it’s best to work with a pro if you have a roof rat infestation, because the infestation will have to be removed completely right away. If the control process only shows partial results, the surviving rats will simply repopulate and continue with their infestation of the home. This will leave you open to the risks mentioned above and can be quite dangerous. If you have any more questions about the roof rat, or if you suspect that you have a roof rat infestation that has to be removed, contact us today.