Roof Rat Identification & Prevention

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Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Rats

a roof rat up close

What are roof rats?

Their athletic abilities make roof rats acrobats of the rat world. Roof rats have a thin body and light build, which allows them to climb easily and have good agility. From nose to tail, these rats grow from between 12 and 16 inches in length. The roof rat’s body is covered in dark brown to black fur and has gray hairs sprinkled throughout it. The fur on their underbelly is lighter in color than the rest of their body. Additional physical features of the roof rat are a pointed nose, large ears, and a scaly tail that is void of hair.

Are roof rats dangerous?

Roof rats pose health risks to people, contaminate food, and cause damage to structures and personal property, making them dangerous pests.

Being a type of rodent means that roof rats have front incisors that continuously grow. Chewing on food and non-food items helps roof rats to keep their teeth from overgrowing. When nesting inside of a home or business, their chewing habits lead to electrical shorts, fires, and structural damage.

Roof rats also contaminate food and surfaces with their saliva, urine, and excrement. They spread things like salmonellosis and rat-bite fever, and other pathogens, which can make people quite ill. Additionally, roof rats are hosts for disease-spreading fleas, ticks, and mites, which they will introduce onto your property while foraging for food and/or creating nesting sites.

Why do I have a roof rat problem?

Properties with ample amounts of food are attractive to roof rats. The more areas they are able to forage for food in, the more likely they will find their way to your property. Places, where rats forage for food include trash cans, compost, gardens, fruit trees, and bird feeders.

Once roof rats are comfortable on your property, there is a good chance they will find their way inside your home or business. They typically move inside while searching for food when it becomes more scarce outside in the late fall and winter.

Where will I find roof rats?

Living together in colonies, roof rats are social and, if given the opportunity, like to nest up off of the ground. Common nesting sites include:

  • Fruit trees
  • Woodpiles
  • Dense vegetation and landscape
  • Attics
  • Roof eaves
  • Chimneys

How do I get rid of roof rats?

Acquiring help from a professional pest control expert is the best way to eliminate roof rats and keep them from returning. At Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, our technicians are highly trained and dedicated to providing safe and effective pest control services in Elizabeth City that are affordable. We are a local, family-owned pest control company whose number one priority is putting our customers first and exceeding expectations. For home or business owners looking to eliminate pests from their property once and for all, call Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How can I prevent roof rats in the future?

To help protect your North Carolina property from roof rats, consider putting into place the following prevention measures.

  • Seal up holes and other openings in the foundation and exterior walls of your house.
  • Place a cap on your chimney.
  • Place secure screens on vents and windows.
  • Cut tree branches away from your roofline.
  • Maintain gardens and fruit trees and pick up any fallen fruits and vegetables.
  • Place tight-fitting lids on trash cans, compost bins, and recycling bins.
  • Pick up uneaten pet food.

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