How to Identify Roof Rat Problems & Roof Rat Damage
Where Can Roof Rats Be Found?
The roof rat is more at home in warm climates, and apparently less adaptable, than the Norway rat, which is why it has not spread throughout the country. Its worldwide geographic distribution suggests that it is much more suited to tropical and semitropical climates. In rare instances, isolated populations are found in areas not within their normal distribution range in the United States. Most of the states in the US interior are free of roof rats, but isolated infestations, probably stemming from infested cargo shipments, can occur.
Roof Rat Habits & Behaviors
Rats rely more on their keen senses of smell, taste, touch and hearing than on vision. They are considered to be color-blind, responding only to the degree of lightness and darkness of color. They use their keen sense of smell to locate and select food items, identify territories and travel routes, and recognize other rats, especially those of the opposite sex. Taste perception of rats is good; once rats locate food, the taste will determine their food preferences.
Touch is an important sense in rats. The long, sensitive whiskers (vibrissae) near their nose and the guard hairs on their body are used as tactile sensors. The whiskers and guard hairs enable the animals to travel adjacent to walls in the dark and in burrows. Their keen sense of hearing also aids in their ability to detect and escape danger.
Roof Rat Damage & Roof Rat Problems
In residences where rats may be living in the attic and feeding outdoors, the damage may be restricted to tearing up insulation for nesting or gnawing electrical wiring. Sometimes rats get into the kitchen area and feed on stored foods. If living under a refrigerator or freezer, they may disable the unit by gnawing the electrical wires.
In landscaped yards they often live in overgrown shrubbery or vines, feeding on ornamentals, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Snails are a favorite food, but don’t expect roof rats to eliminate a garden snail problem. In some situations, pet food and poorly managed garbage may represent a major food resource.
There is less tendency to see droppings, urine, or tracks on the floor in buildings because rats may live overhead between floors, above false ceilings, or in utility spaces, and venture down to feed or obtain food.
Why Should A Critter Control Professional Roof Rat Expert Handle Roof Rat Problems & Infestations?
Like the Norway rat, the roof rat is implicated in the transmission of a number of diseases to humans, including murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis (food poisoning), rat-bite fever, and plague. It is also capable of transmitting a number of diseases to domestic animals and is suspected in the transference of ectoparasites from one place to another.
Contact your local Critter Crontrol office if you are experiencing roof rat problems or believe you have roof rat damage. Our rat removal specialist are trained to implement effective roof rat control such as roof rat trapping to get rid of roof rats and prevent roof rat damange.
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Not all products and methods mentioned within this site are applicable in the state of New York