Roof rats are also called black rats and ship rats; the name "roof rat" comes from their penchant to enter homes via the upper parts of buildings. Although they might be cute looking to some, these pests can cause a number of problems because they can contaminate food, damage materials, and carry serious diseases.
One disease rats carry is called leptospirosis and it is a particularly worrisome one because it is a zoonotic bacterium that can lead to kidney failure. It can be picked up by you, or household pets, through rat urine and passed onto other family members.
Rats are scent-mark creatures, and they relieve themselves to mark their territory. If you believe your pets could encounter rats, speak with a veterinarian about leptospirosis prevention and look no further for Frisco pest control than DANCAN The Pest Control Expert.
Identifying Roof Rats
There are several common types of rats you might encounter in North America:
- Roof rat: Often black or brown with a lighter underside, these rats have a tail longer than their body, long rounded ears, and can reach up to 17 inches from nose to tail. Roof rats like tropical climates, but they can adapt to cold weather quickly.
- Norway rat (brown rat): Black or brown with a light underside and short heart-shaped ears, this rat can reach up to 20 inches from nose to tail. Norway rats can be found all over the United States.
- Woodrat (pack rat): The woodrat comes in shades of grey, has saucer-like ears, and has a long, sometimes hairy tail. Depending on its environment, it can reach between 14 to 20 inches from nose to tail. This rat can be found in every region of North America.
- Marsh rice rat: This rat is usually gray or brown and it has light fur on its head and the underside of its body. The marsh rat has small ears that lay close to its head and can grow up to 12 inches from nose to tail. This species can be found in the Florida Keys, Gulf Coast, and the southeastern part of the United States.
The roof rat is often found in the upper parts of a building away from moisture and protected from the elements. Scratching noises in the walls, sounds in the attic, and electrical disturbances are some of the first signs of a roof rat problem. And where there is one, there are probably more.
A group of rats is called a mischief, and for good reason. Signs you have multiple rats include gnaw marks on furniture and baseboards, rat droppings, spoiled pantry goods, rat bedding, and greasy marks along the baseboards. Roof rats in attic spaces can be a particular cause of concern for the electrical wiring in your house.
Roof Rats Could Destroy Wiring In Your House
55 percent of rodent issues occur in the spring and summer, but roof rats are particularly adaptive and can be a pest any time of year. Like all rodents, roof rats need materials to chew on for the health of their ever-growing teeth.
Roof rats don’t necessarily seek out electrical wiring to chew on; it’s just what happens to be where they like to hide. Their chewing can cause a whole home to black out, flickering lights, and some other unfortunate catastrophes. It's not unheard of for a rat to chew through a wire, electrocute itself, and perish in your wall. Eliminate the threat of rats, the diseases they carry, and the problems they cause by deterring them from your home.
Ways To Deter Roof Rats In Frisco
Rats have extremely delicate respiratory systems and when irritated, they quickly become weak and sick. It’s so bad for them they seek out areas where there is an absence of dust, pollen, and moisture. So it’s no wonder they benefit from living in your home!
Deter roof rats from entering your house with these home remedies to get rid of rats:
- You can use peppermint oil for rats. Soak a cotton ball where you think they could frequent, and the strong smell will make them turn around before they start to wheeze.
- Another humane way to get rid of rats is to use sound to scare them away. They are repelled by high-frequency sounds and predator noises.
- If you find holes in your walls where a rat could enter, plug them up with steel wool.
- Secure pantry items and eliminate food sources for the rats. Roof rats particularly enjoy dog and cat food.
- Deter them with cayenne pepper. Sprinkle some wherever you suspect rat nests or visits.
If you’re struggling with roof rats or any other kind of pest or rodent, you'll likely need professional assistance. The threat of disease and the damage they can do in your home is simply too great to keep these housemates around. You want to get rid of these pests fast!
Getting Rid Of Roof Rats For Good
Roof rats are extremely adaptive and resourceful creatures that can frighten some, make others ill, and cause a significant amount of damage in your home if they are left up to their mischief. Before you get overwhelmed, call DANCAN The Pest Control Expert. We guarantee our rodent control services will help you get rid of rats for good.