How To Identify And Eliminate Roof Rats?
While some people have little to no problem with rodent pests, there are certain areas of the United States that are more prone to rodent problems than others are.
One of those areas in California. If you live in these zones, your attic may become the target of roof rats, which can create a variety of problems for your family and property.
Roof rats are known by a variety of other names, including palm rats, fruit rats, ship
rats, and Alexandrian rats. Both roof rats and Norway rats, a stockier variety of rats,
can infest homes. For effective rodent control, you need to determine what type of rat is scurrying around your attic. Roof rats differ from the other rats in several ways. Let’s look at some of these differences.
Unlike the other rats, roof rats are smaller in size and their tails are longer than their bodies. They grow up to 18 in length, including their tail, and weigh at least 5 oz.
Roof rats are generally black in color, while Norway rats are brown or gray. Roof rats have smaller and sleeker bodies than Norway rats, and their fur is smooth. Other roof rat features include large ears with very little hair and pointy faces.
Unlike other rat species, roof rats are also good climbers and build nests above ground, not underground in burrows. Outdoors, you can find roof rats nesting in trees, shrubs, woodpiles, and dense vegetation. Indoors, roof rats like to build nests in the upper areas of the home where it’s kept warm by rising heat. You may find them nesting in various places inside the home, including:
Inside walls and sheetrock
Patios Pool areas
Their living space must provide them with enough water to sustain life.
Unlike other rat species that often prefer to eat meat scraps and high-protein foods, the diet of roof rats is similar to that of squirrels. This means they mainly eat nuts and fruits, but, just like other rat species, roof rats are omnivorous. They will eat just about anything if they are hungry enough, including signs of an Infestation of roof rats.
You won’t always see roof rats because they are nocturnal and forage for food at night. However, you need to know the signs of infestation that can alert you to their presence. Once found, you can take the proper control measures. One of the most obvious signs of an infestation is roof rat droppings. Roof rat droppings are smaller than those of Norway rats. The droppings are about 0.5 in long with pointed ends. Other signs of a roof rat infestation include:
Dog and cat food
Feed for cows, swine, and chickens
Vegetables in the garden
What Damage Do Roof Rats Cause?
Besides leaving droppings and urine that create a health hazard, roof rats can also cause damage to your home. Roof rats chew holes in your soffit and eaves to gain access to the attic. Once inside, they can cause all sorts of damage by chewing on wires and causing electrical and fire hazards gnawing on wood beams in the attic chewing on pipes and causing water damage trampling down insulation, decreasing its usefulness.