Roof Rats: What They Are & How to Get Rid of Them
Pest control is something that everyone has to deal with at one time or another. Ants, mice, and many other pests will find their way into your home no matter how clean it is, especially as the weather changes and they seek food and shelter. What most people don't realize is that your roof can be a target for pests, too. Roof rats, pigeons, bats, and raccoons are just a few of the many pests that can get onto your roof. Roof rats can be some of the most invasive and destructive of them all. If you want to get rid of roof rats, here is what you need to know.
What are Roof Rats?
Roof rats are dark brown or black rats that measure up to 18 inches in length. They're also great climbers, which is how they got their name. They nest up in trees and on people's roofs outside. If they get in, they'll head up to your ceiling or your attic. Despite their large size, they can squeeze through tiny spaces.
Roof rats travel in packs. If you see one roof rat, you probably have a family of them. Rats can also mate very quickly. A single female rat can have about 2,000 babies in just a year's time. Therefore, if you have a group of rats, you could end up with thousands.
How to Avoid Roof Rats
Roof rats will follow a food source, so you need to make sure that you don't give them one. You can do this by making sure food is tightly sealed, especially if you keep an emergency supply in your attic. These emergency supplies should be kept in plastic containers with lids.
Along with a food source, roof rats will look for water. If you have any leaky faucets in your home, they need to be fixed. Of course, making entry difficult is just as important. Make sure any small spaces into your home are tightly sealed and/or caulked so they have no entry.
Getting Rid of Roof Rats
You can get rid of the rats with trapping or baiting. Trapping is better for indoor control so your children or pets don't eat any rat poison. It's also preferred so you don't have to look for dead, decomposing rats around your home. Rat traps can be purchased online and in some home improvement stores. Traps should be placed along the inside of your walls and in the ceiling. They use the walls to guide them since they have poor vision. They will run right into the traps, making them easy to catch. Glue traps can be set easily and you don't need to worry about baiting. They have a protective paper that you just peel off before setting it down. The rat will stick to the trap when it runs over it. Spring traps are a bit more difficult to set, and you need to use bait to catch the rat properly.
Baiting works well to get rid of rats on the roof because they're easier to find after they die. If you bait rats in your attic, you can have dead rats hiding in your walls. Rat poisons can kill rats in a single feeding, so it doesn't take long to get rid of them. You'll want to set bait stations about 15 and 50 feet apart to be the most effective. A single rat can eat about one ounce per night, so you need to refill bait stations often to ensure you get all of the rats.
Roof rats are invasive and they can seriously damage your roof by nesting and trying to chew through your shingles. If you see one, make sure you set bait on your roof and traps in your attic before they multiply. For more information, contact services like Albemarle Termite & Pest Control.