From the east coast to the west coast, and everywhere in between, rats are found across the U.S. There are many types of rats, but there are some species more common than others in different areas of the country. Rats, and rodents in general, are among the worst types of pests as they can potentially cost you thousands of dollars to repair structures, utility lines, replace insulation and food storage as well be the sources for spreading serious ailments to people and even pets. People can catch a glance in their peripherals, though rats are usually quite elusive. Once rats invade a home or business, they are difficult to evict. With this in mind, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to share the basics concerning roof rats, a common rat in Texas.
Identification of Roof Rats
With an additional 6 to 8 inches long for the tail, a roof rat's body ranges from 6 to 8 inches long and these rats typically weigh around 5 – 12 ounces. Their fur is surprisingly smooth to the touch and is usually a blend of black and brown, though there can be an assortment of several variations of whites, grays, and blacks. Around the ears is scarcely covered in fur, but the rest of their body is fairly dense. Roof rats have large eyes and pointy muzzles.
Where Do Roof Rats Live?
Rightfully dubbed roof rats, they were named roof rats due to their common methods of travel along rooftops and power lines. With their remarkable talents to climb with incredible agility, maneuvering these heights is not a problem. They will often wander indoors by stumbling across roof damage where they traverse. However, once inside rooftops, they tend to stick to the attic spaces that are above the ceilings, just above the cabinets, as well as behind the walls. These rats take advantage of the full foliage in trees and will usually nest above ground when living outdoors. Roof rats are found in most areas across the United States, but they are heavily populated in southern states, especially around seaports since they prefer warmer temperatures. When the temperatures begin to cool and fall season depletes food and water sources, roof rats get desperate and intrude into structures looking for sustenance. Roof rats are very adaptable and are just as comfortable living outside as they are inside, making them very challenging to remove from the premises. Removing from your home or business is vital as soon as they are noticed as their reproduction is fast and infestations can get out of control quickly.
How to Prevent Roof Rats
Apply the tips below to help reduce the likelihood of picking up fall guests.
1) Remove all unnecessary water sources both inside and outside and repair any leaky faucets and pipes.
2) Keep the landscaping well-manicured and avoid allowing vegetation to encroach too close to the home or business; prune trees, trim bushes, and cut the grass.
3) Make prompt sanitation clean up after preparing and eating food a habit and ensure all food, both human and pet, is stored in seal-able containers.
4) Cover the ventilation openings with the approved mesh coverings and make sure the outer structure, from the roof down to the foundation, is well sealed and repair any found damage. Where applicable, install a chimney cap and be sure to replace any loose or missing roof shingles.