Along with the House Mouse in our previous blog post, winter brings along appearances made by the Roof Rat. Identifying the rodent is a little more difficult. The Roof Rat looks like your common rat except the tail is hairless, appears scaly, and is as long as or longer than the head and body combined. The droppings of a Roof Rat are black, shaped like a banana, and about ¼ to ½ inch long.
Similar to other rodents, the Roof Rat is nocturnal or active at night. What makes the Roof Rat stand apart is where the rat can usually be found. This particular rodent prefers to be active and make a home above ground. Whether this is in your attic, wood piles, or any elevated area outdoors or indoors. The Roof Rat will use trees, power-lines, and fences to travel from one home possibility to the next.
Looking back at our “House Mice: How To Prevent Them from Entering Your Home” blog post, the signs of a Roof Rat infestation are a little more tedious to look for than a House Mouse. Contrary to finding tracks and gnawing marks along pathways on the ground with the House Mouse, the Roof Rat’s pathway will be on higher structures, such as rafters and overhead beams. Since their home is made in aerial areas, the presence of droppings and urine will not play such a large role in sure signs of infestation, simply because it is not in plain sight. Hearing scurrying in the attic/false ceilings can also inform you that an infestation is present.
(Dislocated siding that made an easy entrance for Roof Rats at a recent customer’s house)
Once you have identified that you do indeed have a presence of Roof Rats, there are some simple steps to take to make your home less desirable to the rodents:
• Make sure garbage is put away and secured.
• Always harvest fruit as soon as it is ready to be picked, and pick up fallen fruit to eliminate a food source.
• Store firewood away from the walls of your home and at least 18 inches off the ground.
• Trim tree limbs that hang over your home. Doing so makes it harder on the Roof Rat to enter into your home.
• Cover attic vents with wire mesh.
If proper preventative measures have been met and you are still seeing or hearing signs of Roof Rats, let the professionals handle your rodent problem! Call Arrow Pest Control at 1-800-569-2936 today and mention our new 10% off rodent treatment coupon!