Roof rats are dark brown or black in color and can grow to more than a foot in length, including their tail. Although they nest in woodpiles, trees and dense vegetation outdoors, roof rat colonies prefer to live in the attics, ceilings and other upper levels of a building. In addition to contaminating food, their droppings and bites can spread disease. Fleas that bite an infected rodent can indirectly transmit the disease to people and pets.
When searching for a nesting place safe from predators, roof rats can enter your home through an opening slightly larger than a nickel. Their burrowing can cause structural damage to your foundation. Roof rats can also gnaw through plastic plumbing lines and electrical wiring, which can cause water damage or an electrical fire. It is essential to seal holes and cracks. Keep trees and bushes trimmed back away from the house. Fix leaky pipes. Eliminate sources of food and water by keeping food containers and garbage cans tightly covered.
Inspect your home for common signs of an infestation. These include hollowed out fruit, noises in the attic, walls or ceiling, small droppings and gnaw marks. You may also see them when they forage for food at night. If you notice any of these signs, contact a pest control professional. Many do-it-yourself remedies are ineffective. You must also take adequate precautions when handling animals that you capture. When using the services of an experienced pest control technician, there is no need for you to bait and set traps or handle dangerous poisons or dead and decaying animals. Professional exterminators have the expertise and equipment required to quickly locate and eradicate a roof rat infestation.