While all pests are a nuisance to your Miami or Palm Beach-area home, the last one you want to deal with is the roof rat. Roof rats are one of the two most common types of rats found in the country, and are typically found along the east coast and gulf coast areas.
As you can imagine, they are called roof rats for a reason — they tend to live in high places, which is why they are commonly found near the roof.
About Roof Rats
Roof rats can grow to more than 40 cm long and usually exhibit black or brown smooth fur. Their ability to climb and jump large distances accounts for their preference for living in higher places. However, they are quite adaptable and can live in a variety of environments, which means that you may find them on the lower levels of your home as well.
Roof rats are problematic for a number of reasons. First of all, they pose a risk to anyone living within the home as they can be carriers of diseases.
Roof rats can transmit a variety of diseases through bites, physical contact or through the fleas that generally accompany them. In fact, this was how the bubonic plague spread through Europe centuries ago.
They can also cause a lot of physical damage to your home. Roof rats often damage attic insulation, as they will usually construct their nests inside these areas. They will also chew through electrical wires, which can not only disable major appliances, but can also create a fire risk.
Signs of Roof Rat Infestations
The most prominent physical sign of a rat infestation, besides the physical sighting of live or dead roof rats, is the droppings that they leave behind. These droppings are typically between 12 mm and 13 mm long and have pointed ends.
They will also often leave smudge marks from the oil and dirt in their fur. It’s easier to identify their presence at night because they are nocturnal, which means that you may hear them scurrying around at this time.
Prevention and Control
There are a number of basic things that you can do in order to prevent a roof rat infestation. These include the following:
- Make sure that food or garbage isn’t left out uncovered at night
- Trim tree branches near the roof to make it more difficult for roof rats to reach
- Screen your vents and windows to prevent easy access
The most effective way to prevent an infestation, as well as to eliminate any roof rats that are present, is by hiring an exterminator. An exterminator will be able to identify whether you have a roof rodent problem.
Once this has been confirmed, they will determine where the roof rats are gaining access to your home. The exterminator will find any holes or cracks that are being used for access and seal or plug them.
Exclusion is typically considered the most effective way to get rid of a rodent problem. Exterminators will then track the roof rats to their nests so that they can set down traps to eliminate them. They will rarely use fumigants to kill off your roof rodent problem, since roof rats rarely dig burrows.
If you think that you have a roof rat problem, contact an exterminator at Guarantee Pest as soon as possible. To prevent a roof rat problem, schedule an appointment to have an exterminator come to your Miami or Palm Beach-area home in order to identify possible entry points and to block them in order to reduce the risk of a possible infestation.