There are areas of this country where people rarely come across rats, but there are areas in the United States that deal with more rodent problems than they’d like. The southern third of the United States and the coastal states are more likely to deal with rats. If you happen to call these areas of the country home, then your home is more likely to be targeted by roof rats. Roof rats can be problematic for your family and your property.
What Do Roof Rats Look Like?
Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats and their tails are longer than their bodies. They can get as big as 18 inches long, which includes their tail and can weigh in at 5 oz. They are usually black in color with bodies that are smaller and sleeker than Norway rats. They also have smoother fur. They have large ears with little hair on them and faces that are pointy.
Where Do Roof Rats Live?
Roof rats are better climbers than other rats and will build their nest above the ground, not in burrows underground. Their nests can be found in trees, shrubs, dense vegetation and piles of wood. If they get into your home, they will build nests in the higher areas of your home that are warmer from rising heat. These areas can include: attics, cupboards, ceilings, garages, inside walls, patios and laundry rooms. Any area they choose will need to have sufficient water for them to live.
What Do Roof Rats Eat?
Most rats prefer to eat high-protein foods and meats, but roof rats have a diet that is similar to squirrels. They prefer nuts and fruits, but are omnivores and if they are hungry, they will eat just about anything they can find. This can include seeds, pet food, insects, paper, ornamental plants, and candle wax. Just like squirrels, roof rats will hoard and stash nuts and seeds to use later on. Water sources roof rats use include: leaky pipes, bird baths, saucers under potted plants, irrigation lines and AC condensation drip lines. Roof rats will chew through plastic and metal to access water and can cause serious problems.
Signs of a Rodent Infestation
Because roof rats are nocturnal you may not see them but there are signs that will let you know they are around. The obvious sign of an infestation are droppings. Roof rats droppings are about ½ long with pointed ends Other signs include scratching noises, gnaw marks, damaged electrical wires, grease trails along the paths they take and nests in the insulation of your home. Pets will often show sign of stress when rats are in your home. One female roof rat can have a litter of 5 to 8 babies up to three times year. Roof rat populations can get out of hand very quickly. The moment you suspect you’re dealing with them, call professional pest control for help.
Professionals can correctly identify the rats you’re dealing for effective rodent control. Contact Stewart Termite & Pest Control to develop a plan so you don’t have to deal with rats that can carry disease and damage your home. Give us a call today!