There are a variety of pests that could enter your home and cause a nuisance. However, one of the larger infestations you want to prevent is roof rats. These long and thin rodents are known for their large eyes, pointed noses, and scaly tail. They can grow to be around six to eight inches long and cause significant damage if not caught and dealt with early on. This makes preventing roof rats so important.
What Are They?
Roof rats got their name because they are known for finding shelter in the upper parts of buildings, such as the roof, where they can cause considerable damage once inside. They gnaw through materials, and if they get into the area where you store food, they can contaminate it. They are omnivores, so they will eat anything available, although they prefer seeds and fruit.
They are also nocturnal creatures who prefer cooler temperatures and live in colonies. When they forage for food, they usually go in smaller groups and repeatedly head to the same food source. Because they can fit into a hole as small as a nickel and prefer lush landscapes, it is common for properties with heavy shrubbery or wood piles to find a problem with a roof rat infestation.
Signs of an Infestation
The signs of a roof rat infestation are pretty straightforward if you have found one rodent either dead or alive. If you find a roof rat, chances are there is more than one, and finding pest control near me will be necessary. You will also want to call an exterminator if you discover any droppings around your home or gnaw marks, damaged items, or hear noises in your attic. These are all signs that you most likely have a roof rat problem.
Roof rats have gone down in history for spreading the bubonic plague, and even though the transmission is rare today, a few cases are still reported every year. There are other diseases that they can carry, too, such as typhus, infectious jaundice, trichinosis, and salmonella. They can also cause food poisoning if you ingest any of the food they have contaminated or any surfaces where you prepare food.
Roof rats will also show aggression if they feel threatened, which can lead to a bite or a scratch. If this happens, there is a chance of contracting rat-bite fever, which may cause vomiting, fever, headache, or joint pain.
How To Get Rid of Them
These rodents can cause a lot of damage to your home and your health. That is why it is vital to know how to get rid of them and prevent them from returning. The best way to prevent roof rats from entering your home is to ensure that any holes or cracks that are nickel sized are sealed. Also, ensure that your windows and vents are screened and keep your shrubs and trees around your home trimmed away from your home. Roof rats will eat anything available, so ensure your food is stored well and clean up any fallen food from the floors or counters.
Roof Rats are not something anyone wants in their home, especially with all the damage they can cause. If you suspect an infestation in your home, call an exterminator and then follow the steps to prevent it from happening again.