Any rodent on your Queen Creek property is bad news, but roof rats bring their own brand of trouble. Often called black rats or ship rats, roof rats are typically brown with black fur intermixed and gray, white, or black bellies. They are long and thin with large ears and eyes and grow to be up to 8 inches long, not including their scaly tails. Learn about these rats, the risks they bring to your property, how you can prevent them, and what to do if they are already there.
Risks Associated With Roof Rats
The most well-known risk of roof rats is disease. They made their place in history by spreading the bubonic plague. The transmission of this disease is now rare, but roof rats continue to spread disease such as rat-bite fever, trichinosis, and infectious jaundice. They can spread these illnesses through bites, droppings, and urine as well as cause food poisoning by contaminating food or food preparation areas.
Roof rats also carry fleas and ticks that come with their own host of issues from infestations to typhus and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But the dangers of roof rats do not end with illness and disease. These tenacious pests are also a threat to your property. They will damage everything from insulation and structural materials to plumbing and wiring to furniture and personal belongings. Nothing is safe with a roof rat, especially since these rodents are renowned for both their climbing and swimming ability. This increases the hazards posed to your home as well as the difficulty in keeping roof rats out.
Roof Rat Prevention
Given the danger and destruction roof rats bring to a property, prevention is well worth the effort. The following steps can help minimize your risk of an infestation so you don’t end up battling roof rats on your Queen Creek property.
Limit access points:
- Install door sweeps and weather stripping.
- Use screen vents and chimney caps.
- Replace loose mortar around basement foundations and windows.
- Seal cracks and holes on exterior walls and foundations, paying close attention to areas where utilities and pipes enter the building.
Minimize food sources:
- Keep leftovers in closed containers.
- Store fruit in the refrigerator instead of on the counter.
- Don’t leave pet bowls out overnight.
- Cover both indoor and outdoor trash cans and take the trash out often.
- Sweep and mop, including underneath appliances.
- Keep counters clean and don’t let dishes pile up.
Reduce excess moisture:
- Eliminate excess moisture by fixing leaky plumbing, maintaining drainage, and minimizing excess condensation.
- Keep attics, basements, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Use dehumidifiers as needed.
- Store firewood at least 20 feet away from exterior.
- Keep shrubs and tree branches trimmed away from exterior walls.
Eliminating access points and minimizing attractions can go a long way towards helping your cause, but nothing beats professional pest control.
Signs Of Roof Rats
Ideally, these prevention methods will be enough, but that is not always the case. Because roof rat infestations can be dangerous and multiply quickly, it is important to be aware of the signs of their presence and act quickly if they appear. Signs of roof rats include:
- Gnaw marks: All rodents chew constantly to keep their front teeth from growing too long. If you are finding chewed materials around your home, it is a sure sign that there are rodents around.
- Droppings: Roof rat droppings usually measure a half-inch in length and have pointed ends and will be concentrated around nesting areas.
- Nests: Rodents build nests out of shredded paper products, packing materials, insulation, and fabrics.
- Rub marks: Rats have oily fur and leave behind dark grease or dirt marks along walls and floorboards in high traffic areas.
- Noises: Like other rodents, roof rats are nocturnal and more active at night. If you are hearing noises in the walls or attic, it is likely due to rats or other rodents.
- Rats: Roof rats are secretive creatures. If you see one in person, it is a sign not only of a presence of roof rats in your house but also that the infestation has grown to the point of overcrowding.
If you notice these or other signs of roof rats on your property there is no time to waste. For the best outcome, it’s vital to get started on elimination right away.
How Quell Pest Control Can Help
Whether you are working to keep roof rats off of your property or you need help eliminating them, Quell Pest Control is here to help. We offer solution-oriented pest control for superior results. Our environmentally conscious pest control options focus on ongoing training and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) principles. Call us today for more advice or assistance or to learn more about our rodent control services.