Thanks to our mild winter climate, pest control is a year-round job here in the Spring area. As your go-to Spring pest control company, Pest Arrest is here to help you protect your home from unwanted vermin and insects no matter the season. Rodents are one of the most common winter pests in our area, and roof rats, in particular, can be very challenging to get rid of without professional rodent control. In today’s post, we’ll review some basic information about roof rats, including what they look like, signs of infestation, and how to best get rid of them. Let’s get started!
Roof Rats in Your Home
What Do Roof Rats Look Like?
Roof rat populations have grown significantly in our area in the last couple of years, making it more and more likely for homeowners to experience an infestation. The first step in effective rodent control is knowing how to identify one rodent from another. Roof rats grow to be about 16 inches long, including their tail, which is 6 to 8 inches long. They are usually brownish-gray in color and commonly have a gray, white, or black underside. Their tail is scaly, long, and thin, and they are easily identified by their large ears and eyes. Unlike other rat species, roof rats are known for their long, sleek bodies and smooth fur.
Signs of Infestation
Roof rats are nocturnal, which means that you might not actually see them if you have an infestation. Rather, you are more likely to notice other signs of infestation. Have you heard scurrying or squeaking noises coming from your attic during the night? Have you discovered rat nests or droppings around your home, or noticed damage to insulation, walls, pipes, and other structural components of your home that you can’t attribute to anything else? If you have experienced any of these conditions in your home, it is possible you have an infestation. Some of the warning signs of infestation include:
- Noises coming from your attic. As their name implies, roof rats are excellent climbers and they prefer to build nests high up as opposed to underground burrows.
Droppings. These typically measure around ½ inch and have pointed ends. Norway rats have longer droppings with blunt ends.
Nests. Roof rats use a variety of material to make their nests, including insulation they’ve chewed, twigs, paper.
- Structural damage. These rats will not hesitate to chew through pipes and electrical wires, both of which can cause significant damage to your home. They also gnaw on wood attic beams and walls, and they trample down insulation, making it less effective.
If you notice any of these signs of a roof rat infestation, contact the experienced Spring pest control experts at Pest Arrest right away. We’ll come out to inspect your home and determine whether there is an infestation present. From there, we will identify the problematic pest to determine the best way to remove them from your home.
Preventing Roof Rat Infestations
Like mice, these rodents don’t need a lot of space in order to enter a home. In fact, they can enter a home through a space that is as small as a nickel in diameter. That being said, repairing any possible access points on the exterior of your home is key to preventing an infestation. As we mentioned earlier, roof rats are expert climbers. This means that homeowners need to be extremely diligent about securing possible entry points on their roofs, including vents, chimneys, and other entrances. Wire mesh works well for this, as it keeps the rats out without restricting air flow. Other prevention tips include:
- Trimming shrubbery. Roof rats can gain access to a home if there are tree branches or bushes that are too close to the home.
- Cleaning up landscaping debris. When they aren’t infesting attics, roof rats prefer to live in wood stacks, piles of leaves, and dense vegetation.
- Repairing loose shingles. Shingles can become loose over time due to wind and storms, allowing access points for roof rats.
As part of our inspection of your home, our Spring pest control technicians are happy to provide you with tips for keeping roof rats out of your home.
Top-Rated Local® Spring Pest Control Company
If you are worried that you have a roof rat infestation on your property, it is important to contact a Spring pest control company for a thorough inspection of your home. Not only can roof rats cause extensive structural damage to a home, but they are also a threat to your family’s health. These rodents can be aggressive when they feel threatened, and they will not hesitate to bite or scratch you. This can place you at unnecessary risk of several diseases, including rat-bite fever. With more than 20 years of experience, Pest Arrest is here to protect your family and your home from roof rats. Contact us today to learn more about our pest control treatment options!