Rats cause structural and aesthetic damage to the interior and exterior of homes. They contaminate food and carry diseases, risking your and your family’s health. It is crucial to address a rat problem as soon as you notice rat activity.The roof rat is becoming one of the most well-known rodents for destruction. Many people think of the black rat when discussing the roof rat, but there are three sub-species of roof rats, each with different fur colors. The three subspecies include the black, Alexandrine, and fruit rats.
Roof rats are known to carry diseases, fleas, and ticks. More than 30 diseases can be spread by roof rats, including hantavirus, infectious jaundice, salmonellosis, tularemia, and food poisoning. The spread occurs when they urinate in your water, chew food in your pantry, or leave droppings on your countertops and appliances. They can also transmit diseases to any pets you have.
Do you have rats living in your crawl space or walls? Do you hear noises in your attic at night? Do you notice that your pet’s food disappears during the day? Do you spot dead rats or droppings in your attic? These can be signs of a rat infestation, a problem you will want to solve very quickly. So, watch for the signs and make sure that you know whom to turn to if you face such a problem. Let Critter Control provide you with effective rat removal, rodent cleanup, and exclusion services.
Seeing a Roof Rat Problem
What is a roof rat and how do you spot one? A roof rat is usually a large rodent that is approximately seven inches long with a tail usually longer than the head and body combined. These creatures are either brown or black with a gray or light colored belly. They have naked ears and long, course fur. Many experts consider these critters the most serious pest mammal.
Roof rats got their name because they are excellent climbers. They are often seen on roofs, attics, trees, walls, trusses, and beams. Roof rats are usually part of a colony. If they can’t find a way to shelter up high, they will build nests in wood piles, basements, clutter, or shrubs. They prefer to have a roof of some kind over their heads.
They typically build a habitat where there is grain, seeds, fruit, or garbage, so they are likely to live where humans live. Roof rats also known as Palm rats are the most common rodent in Miami. If they are not removed, then they are likely to cause ongoing damage to a structure.
Signs of Roof Rat Infestation
Typically, roof rats build nests in attics and inside the walls of your home. That means colonies of roof rats can live closer to you and your family than you’d like. Seeing a roof rat, dead or alive, is a sign of an infestation. There is rarely only one rat living in a location.
If a roof rat is in your attic, you will likely see shredded insulation and drywall, chewed electrical wires, and nests plugging vents and ducts, all creating fire hazards. Other signs include the following:
- Droppings. Roof rat droppings or feces are usually about ½” long and have pointy ends. If the droppings are moist and soft, they are fresh. They are old if they are hard and dry or easy to crumble. Both are unsanitary. Adult roof rats can leave fifty or more droppings every day.
- Gnaw marks. Roof rats, like other rodents, have teeth that continually grow throughout their lifetime. The larger their teeth get, the more painful. Roof rats will chew and gnaw on any material to keep their teeth short to avoid this pain. They can chew through wood, plastic, vinyl, fabric, etc. It is likely due to rat activity if you see gnaw marks on furniture, baseboards, wires, or anything else.
- Odor. Roof rats leave a strong, musky odor in areas where they are active. Much of the odor results from urine trails, which they leave everywhere they go. The stronger the smell, the larger the infestation.
- Sounds. Roof rats make distinctive noises when active at night. Squeaking, squealing, chirping, chattering, purring, and grunting are a few of the sounds a roof rat can make. The noises become incredibly annoying when you try to fall asleep, and your local rat colony is just beginning its nesting and feeding activities for the night.
DIY Rat Control
Once a problem is discovered, you should take a few precautions before a roof rat specialist arrives. First, do not take safety lightly. These rodents are known for transmitting serious diseases and carrying a variety of parasites. They are dangerous to both humans and pets. People can be exposed to plague and typhus fever. Do not attempt to get rid of these animals on your own.
The Next Step
Contact a roof rat professional who will provide removal and roof rat prevention services. You can contact us at Critter Control to learn more about what to expect before the technician arrives. The professional will provide roof rat trapping and removal, roof rat damage repair, and prevention services.