How to Get Rid of Roof Rats and Identifying Roof Rat Droppings


If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with roof rats, you know how destructive they can be. Not only do they wreak havoc on your home, but they can also be dangerous to your health. Here are some signs that indicate you may have a roof rat problem, as well as some tips on how to get rid of them.

What is a Roof Rat?

Roof rats are also known as black rats. They are dangerous rodents that can carry a variety of diseases. They are excellent climbers and often make their homes in attics or upper floors of buildings.

Roof Rat Droppings

There are many signs of a roof rat infestation in a house, but some of the most common and apparent signs are roof rat droppings. Roof rat droppings are giant, dark brown and have pointed ends.

Do you suspect you have roof rats on your property? If yes, taking action quickly is crucial to prevent them from causing serious damage and spreading disease. Roof rat droppings carry diseases such as murine typhus, leptospirosis, trichinosis, rat-bite fever, etc.

How to Get Rid of Roof Rats?

If you have a rat problem, chances are it’s not just one rat. Roof rats are known to travel in groups. If you see one, there are likely more rats hiding nearby. The good news is there are plenty of ways to prevent and get rid of roof rats.

Check out these 10 best ways to stop roof rat infestation from becoming a concern and eliminate existing roof rats on your property.

  1. Hide the Pet Food

Roof rats are attracted to the smell of pet food and will often raid the bowl when you’re not looking. The best way to avoid this problem is to keep your pet food bowls inside.

  1. Store Food in a Container

All your food needs to be packed in tight containers, so that roof rats don’t find any reason to stay in your home.

  1. Declutter Your Space

Clutter of papers, cardboard, and packaging material are prime nesting materials for roof rats. Removing them will make your home less attractive to these pests.

  1. Clean Your Backyard or Garden

The grass clippings and weeds in your backyard provide food and shelter to roof rats. You would want to get rid of them to avoid these creatures.

  1. Seal Entry Points

You should seal any holes or cracks that roof rats can use to enter your home.

  1. Trim Tree Limbs

Cut the long branches of trees within the close vicinity of your home. It’s important to prevent roof rats from reaching your roof through the tree branches.

  1. Clean Your Garage

Another important thing is keeping mice out of the garage and basement. For that, you need to tidy up your garage from stored seeds and other potential items that can serve as either food or shelter for rats.

  1. Cover the Garbage

This is linked to eliminating any potential food sources they might find on your property. Keep your garbage cans clean and tightly sealed, as they can also serve as a potential food source for roof rats.

  1. Call Professionals

Call your local residential and commercial pest control service for a detailed inspection, exclusion, and pest control.

  1. Trap Them Using Bait

You can use traps to catch roof rats using bait. But it can be a tiring process. Calling professional pest control services is a more efficient solution.

Roof rat vs. Norway rat

Two main types of rats infest homes are Roof rats and Norway rats. Here’s a look at the key differences between these two pests.

Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats, measuring about 13 inches from nose to tail. They have large ears and dark fur. These rats are excellent climbers and are often found in attics or trees.

On the other hand, Norway rats grow up to 18 inches long. They have small ears and light-colored fur. These rodents are good swimmers and often live in caves near water sources.

Both roof rats and Norway rats can carry diseases, so it’s important to contact a pest control professional if you think you have an infestation.

Are roof rats dangerous?

Yes, roof rats are dangerous. They can carry many diseases that can harm humans, including the bubonic plague and salmonellosis.

What Do Roof Rats Look Like?

These pests are often mistaken for other rodents, like mice or squirrels. But several key characteristics can help you distinguish a roof rat from different types of rats. For starters, roof rats are typically smaller than other types of rats. They weigh between 5 and 9 ounces, while other types of rats can weigh up to 18 ounces. Roof rats also have longer tails.

Roof rats also tend to be more agile than other types of rats. They’re excellent climbers and can often be seen running along power lines or climbing trees in search of food. If you see a rat running along a fence or wire, chances are it’s a roof rat.

Signs of Roof Rats Infestation

If you think you might have a roof rat problem, look for these telltale signs:

  • Sighting of rat roofs while they are climbing trees, roofs, power lines, patios, etc.
  • Their nest is in the insulation or other secluded area of your home.
  • Damaged electrical wire with visible gnawing signs.
  • Visible gnawing marks at the roof or walls of your home.
  • Stressed and agitated pets.
  • Sound of gnawing and scratching coming from your home’s walls and attic.
  • Getting disappointed with the hollowed-out fruit when you look forward to eating fruit from your garden’s fruit tree.
  • Footmarks trail going in and out of your house through a window or other tiny route.

What are the Possible Nesting Areas of Roof Rats?

There are many potential nesting areas for roof rats. But unlike other rat species, roof rats are experts in climbing. So they like to live above ground and not underground. You will find most roof rat nests near the water source. Some of the most common homes of roof rats include:

  • Inside walls and sheetrock
  • Cabinets
  • Pool areas
  • Attics
  • Patios
  • Garages
  • Laundry rooms
  • Ceilings

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What damage do roof rats cause?

    They can also cause significant damage to your home by chewing on wires and insulation.

  • How do roof rats get inside the home?

    Roof rats are adept at climbing, which is how they get their name. They can climb trees and power lines. They can even enter homes through the roof. Rats are also good swimmers so they can access homes through holes or cracks in the foundation. Once inside, rats will nest in attics, crawlspaces, and any other dark, secluded area.

These 10 are the best ways to keep roof rats at bay. But the problem can return. Get the help of professional pest control services if you want a more permanent solution. Call us now!

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