The difference between rats and mice is usually quite drastic. Mice are small, round, and have big ears compared to the size of their heads. Rats, on the other hand, are bigger, longer, and have fatter rumps. Easy to tell apart, right? Interestingly enough, there is one rodent that has homeowners scratching their heads asking the question, rat or mouse? Today we'll be uncovering the secrets of the elusive roof rat so that you will have everything you need to identify these furry creatures and to keep them out of your Dallas home.
How To Identify Roof Rats
Roof rats are different from your average rat. For one, they are much smaller. Compared to their cousin, the Norway rat which is 8-10” long on average, roof rats are smaller, only growing to 8” at the most. Roof rats also weigh less, making them slimmer. Because of this size difference, roof rats are often mistaken for mice. The truth is, mice are about half the size of roof rats. Seen side by side, it is easy to tell these two rodents apart.
The Problems Roof Rats Cause
Just because roof rats are smaller than the average rat does not make them any less of a problem for homeowners. They are just as capable of spreading dangerous diseases, just as able to transport fleas, ticks, and mites into your home, and just as capable of chewing through whatever they wish. These problems are amplified by the number of rodents living within your walls, and rodents are fast breeders. A single female rodent can give birth to 10-12 babies every month. Needless to say, it won’t take long for a small rodent problem to turn into a big one.
One thing you should know about roof rats is that they live up to their names. As talented climbers, roof rats take advantage of trees and other large structures near homes to gain access to roofs. From here they will invade into attic spaces where they can stay hidden, reproduce, and contaminate a home from the top down.
Prevention Tips For Roof Rats
Roof rats have more options to invade homes than any other species of rat here in North Dallas. From the chimney to the foundation, if there is a way into your home, they can find it. Here are some preventative steps you can take to deter roof rats from getting into your home:
Clean your yard of debris.
Trim tree branches and greenery away from the walls of your home.
Make sure all of your trashcans have tight-fitting lids.
Pick up pet food and water bowls before night time.
Seal holes, gaps, and cracks in your home’s foundation, using a caulking gun and wire mesh.
Repair or replace ripped or torn screens.
Install door sweeps on all exterior doors.
Repair any damage to your roofline.
Cover any ventilation leading out of your home with wire screens.
Make sure your chimney has a cap designed to keep rodents out.
Store leftover foods inside plastic or metal containers.
Clean messes and spills as they happen around the home.
What To Do If Roof Rats Get Inside
Unfortunately, roof rats are not always preventable. If you suspect your home has a roof rat problem, it is time to reach out to the professionals. Our rodent control programs here at DANCAN The Pest Control Expert are designed to quickly and effortlessly remove unwanted furry invaders from your home.
To find your solution to rodent problems, or to learn more about our methods, reach out to us today. Your freedom from pests is just a phone call away!