What Do They Look Like
Roof rats are long and thin rodents that have large eyes and ears, a pointed nose and a scaly tail. Roof rats have soft and smooth fur that is typically brown with intermixed spots of black. Their undersides are often white, gray or black.
Adult roof rats measure 6-8” when you combine their head and body length. Their tails are notably longer than their heads and bodies, measuring 7-10”. This means that roof rats can measure more than a foot and 3″ long. They usually weigh 5-9 ounces, but can grow up to 12 ounces.
What Are Their Habits?
Roof rats are primarily nocturnal, and thrive in cool weather. They forage for food in small groups of up to ten and tend to return to the same food source time after time, following the same pathway between their nest and food. Though their excellent climbing abilities allow them to easily access the upper parts of structures, they are also highly adaptable and can survive in a variety of environments.
Roof rats live in colonies and prefer to nest in the upper parts of buildings. They can also be found under, in and around structures.
Where can you find them?
Typically living in colonies, roof rats prefer to nest in the upper parts of buildings, such as attics and rafters. They can also be found under, in and around structures, as well as in piles of wood or debris. Generally preferring sheltered or covered habitats, roof rats are attracted to lush landscapes, dense vegetation and fruit trees. As result, properties with heavy shrubbery, woodpiles and storage boxes are more prone to roof rat infestations.
When looking for indoor shelter, roof rats will enter structures through any access point larger than a nickel. Seeking safety from predators and places to nest, they enter garages, sheds and homes by following pipes or gnawing through materials such as drywall, aluminum siding, and wood.
How Are They Harmful?
Roof rats secured their place in history by spreading the highly dangerous bubonic plague. Though transmission is rare today, there are still a handful of cases in the U.S. each year. Roof rats can also carry fleas and spread diseases such as typhus via fleas, infectious jaundice via urine in water or food, rat-bite fever via bites, trichinosis via under-cooked pork and salmonellosis via droppings. Additionally, these rodents can cause food poisoning by contaminating food or food preparation surfaces.
Similar to many other rodent species, roof rats may show aggression when threatened. In self-defense, they may bite or chase. Diseases including rat-bite fever can be transmitted through a roof rat bite or scratch. Symptoms of rat-bite fever include vomiting, headache, fever, and muscle and joint pain.
If you suspect that your symptoms are associated with rodent infestation, seek medical attention. Be sure to tell your doctor if you suspect contact with rodents or rodent droppings. For any further help, do not hesitate, contact us now for an immediate quote to help protect you and your family!