Roof Rat Facts
SIZE: 5”-7” LONG
Color: BLACK TO DARK GRAY TO DARK BROWNISH GREY, LIGHTER BELLIES
Behavior: Jump up to eight feet
Lifespan: 2-3 years
Reproduction: 5-8 babies up to 6 times a year
Roof rats, also known as palm rats, palm tree rats, black rats, ship rats or house rats, are the leading rodent pest in Florida and in other tropical climates.
They are climbers and prefer to nest off the ground in trees like palms which is how they got their common name. Fruit is one of their main food sources. They get into the tallest parts of structures and nest in ceiling voids, trees, crawl spaces and storage rooms. Outdoors, they can be found in vegetation, wood or other organic debris (palm fronds). Their ease of accessing indoor areas often leads to the need for frequent professional pest control measures.
Signs of infestation
- Droppings inside the home look like dark banana-shaped pellets about a ½ inch long
- Gnaw marks on food packaging, wooden structures, electrical wires or other household items
- Greasy “rub marks” from dirt and oil from their bodies on beams, rafters, walls or other fixtures
- Sounds of gnawing, clawing or screeching at night
Control and Infestation
- Pay special attention to the roof and seal potential entryways
- Use concrete, steel wool, or metal to keep them out of the home
- Remove vines or ivy covering the home so they cannot climb
- Eliminate food sources - store snacks in airtight containers.
- Trim shrubbery and trees
- Tear through insulation or gnaw on electrical wires, potentially short-circuiting electronic devices
- Eat food in the kitchen
- Eat plants, fruits, and vegetables in the garden
- Get in garbage cans and munch on food scraps
- Chew on the sealant along roof tiles, which helps them get in into the house
Disease: Roof Rats transmit a variety of diseases that are harmful to both humans and animals. If a person develops flu-like symptoms or skin discolorations within a few days after exposure to a rat, immediate medical attention should be sought.
Benefits of a pest control company: A company will have a variety of solutions and the education, equipment and skills to get rid of problems. Finding and treating roof rats can be challenging, especially with a big infestation deep within the home.