Roof rats

Identification

  • Colour Black or brown
  • Size About 40 cm long
  • Also known as Black rats, Ship rats, Old English rats, Alexandrine rats, House rats.
  • Description Have large ears and eyes, a pointed snout, a slender body, and tails that are often longer than the rest of their body and drag behind them.

General Facts

Why do I have roof rats?

Roof rats are common to coastal communities and seaports and will travel up to 90 metres to find, water, and shelter. They like to nest in trees, attics, and rafters. These rats will generally eat anything, but prefer fruits, vegetables, nuts and cereals.

How worried should I be about roof rats?

Roof rats threaten natural habitats, because they feed on many of native birds and insects. They also devour a variety of crops, including cereals, sugar cane, coconuts, cocoa, oranges, and coffee beans, and any feed intended for cows, swine, chickens, cats, and dogs. Like all rats, roof rats can transmit many diseases, as well as contaminating food with their faeces, saliva, and urine. They can also carry dangerous parasites like mites and ticks. They can also do structural damage to the upper levels of your home or business. However, roof rats avoid unfamiliar objects and situations, so can be difficult to lure with baits and traps. While they may have poor eyesight, they have an excellent sense of hearing, smell, touch, and taste, and are fantastic at running and climbing. Female roof rats can give birth to as many as 40 new offspring every year, meaning an infestation can rapidly grow out of control if not checked. To effectively deal with a roof rat infestation, professional pest control services are crucial.

How can I prevent roof rats invading?

Check wiring for chew marks and gnawing, Check the walls for rubbing marks or holes, Look out for small, pellet-like droppings, Keep food preparation areas clean, Clean up spills and crumbs immediately, Remove food sources, including bird feeders, Clean and rotate dumpsters regularly, Make sure trash cans are covered tightly, Trim back vegetation from building exterior, Seal any cracks or holes with caulk or foam, Fix leaky soda or ice machines and HVAC units, Remove any standing water outside, Don't leave doors open for a long time, Install weather strips around doors and windows

Other pests related to Roof rats

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