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How to Identify and Eliminate Roof Rats

Understanding the Behavior of Roof Rats

Roof rats are known by a variety of names such as the fruit rat, ship rat, citrus rat et cetera. They have a distinct appearance; usually black or dark brown with smooth fur, a very long tail, large eyes and ears and a pointy face. Roof rats are adept climbers and usually prefer to build their nests above ground. Outdoors, roof rats’ nests can be found in trees, dense vegetation and woodpiles. Indoors, they prefer to live in the upper levels of the building like the attic, ceiling, rafters and cabinets.

Roof rats prefer a diet of fruits and nuts, however, like most rodents, they are omnivores and will eat almost anything when hungry. This could be meat, vegetables, tree bark, grains, insects and even pet foods. These pesky rodents are known to hoard food and stash it in their nesting places. They also prefer to nest in areas where they can easily get water to sustain them, even if it means chewing through water pipes.

Call us today for your residential or commercial rodent control needs. We are the #1 company in Shelby County Tennessee for the treatment of animal problems. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all emergency needs. If a roof rat is in your attic, we are fully equipped to get rid of your rodent problem and have you pest free. Many times a pest control company will treat roof rat problems just like they treat a termite, ant, mosquito, flea, spider or bed bug problem, with poison. It’s best that rats and mice should be handled just as squirrels stopped, with traps. Rats and mice that die of poison can get stuck in walls and attic insulation, which need to be removed causing necessary repair work afterwards. Call today if you are looking to find a business that will offer quality rodent extermination services. We operate in the areas of Germantown and Collierville, which are suburbs of Memphis TN.

Roof rats are avid breeders. They become sexually mature at around 2-5 months with females remaining sexually active all year round. A single female roof rat can produce up to 40 young ones in one year. For this reason, it is important to control roof rats’ population in and around the home to prevent infestation.

Common Roof Rat Questions

  • How much does it cost to have rats removed?

  • How do you get rid of roof rats?

  • What does a roof rat look like?

  • How much does it cost to get rats out of attic?

  • How do you get rid of a rat?

  • How do you get rid of rats naturally?

Signs of Roof Rat Infestation

An infestation of roof rats may go undetected because they are active at night. This is their ideal time to forage for food. However, there are some obvious signs that could point to their increasing numbers in the home or nearby surrounding. Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Visual sightings of rats scurrying around the house, on trees and power lines
  • Lots of rat droppings in the gutters, rafters, ceiling and attic
  • Gnawing marks and sounds around roof eaves
  • Noises in the attic, rooftops and cabinets
  • Grease marks left behind by their tails along their regular routes
  • Unsettled house pets
  • Damage on plastic covering of pipes and electrical wires
  • Hollowed out fruits
  • Presence of rodents’ nests found in the attic or cabinets

Once alerted of their presence, it is imperative that control measures are undertaken. Roof rats’ population can quickly get out of hand and lead to some serious damage. They not only pose a health risk to the family members and pets, but can also cause serious structural damage to a building when they start gnawing on water pipes.

Diseases Associated with Roof Rats

Roof rats need to be treated as vermin because they do carry and spread diseases. They transmit disease directly through contact. This happens when they contaminate food with their feces. They can also transmit diseases indirectly when fleas bite a diseased rat and then bite a pet or a person. It is a known historical fact that the bubonic plague was transmitted to humans from rat fleas. This was the cause of the Black Death in Europe, a devastating pandemic in the history of mankind. Roof rats can also bite people and pets thus transmitting the rat bite fever through a bacteria strain found in their mouths.

Roof rats enter homes and other structures through small openings and crevices that they can squeeze through. They may also climb vines and tree branches that lean too close to a building to gain access. They enter homes in search of food or when looking for safe places to live away from their natural predators. It is important to seal off any possible entry way to keep them out of the house.

Simple Ways to Get Rid of Roof Rats

There are various ways to get rid of roof rats depending on how severe the infestation is. In the most severe cases, professional exterminators may be called to access the situation and deal with the infestation. However, it is possible to contain the population of roof rats and even keep them out of the house entirely. Here are some simple ways to keep these pests away.

  • Make use of professional rodent exterminator services to lure them to snap trap or glue traps.
  • Sanitation – this is the single most important prevention and control measure to combat a rat infestation. Store food in tightly sealed containers, empty garbage bins frequently, de-clutter the garage, attic and other areas where roof rats could nest and clear vegetation around the home.
  • Exclusion – prevent roof rats from entering the home by trimming tree branches, caulk holes and crevices, screen air vents and make sure doors and windows fit properly in their frames.
  • Starve them out – pick up any fruits that drop to ensure the rats don’t get any food or water, don’t leave pet food out at night, keep garbage containers tightly covered and limit the use of bird feeders.
Germantown, TN

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