If you’are suspecting a rat infesSigns of Roof Rats Infestation
tation in your attic, you’re probably facing an unusual rat breed commonly known as roof rats. Roof rats, also known as Attic or citrus rats, are one of the most common household pest menaces in the US. They are referred to as Roof Rats because they are natural climbers and prefer to live in the attics or build nests in trees.
Roof rats enter homes by jumping onto the rooftops from nearby tree branches or utility lines. They can also enter the roof by climbing vines near your home or rough climbing surfaces such as concrete blocks and bricks. Once on the rooftop, they gain access to the attic if there are open areas along the walls, pipes, or attic vents that are large enough to squeeze through. Once inside the attic, roof rats build their nests and start breeding.
The problem with roof rats is they can move into your home undetected, especially because the attic is usually insulated and therefore blocks any sounds of movement. The fact that a homeowner can’t easily detect their existence allows them to breed and can easily become overpopulated within a short period of time.
A single female roof rat can produce approximately 40 offsprings a year, and those offsprings can produce their babies in about four months. In addition to transforming your attic into a shelter hosting hundreds of rats, roof rats can cause extensive damage to your home.
Signs of Roof Rats Infestation
Because they are nocturnal and look for food during the night, it’s not easy to come across roof rats. However, there are obvious signs of roof rats infestations. Some of these signs include:
- Roof rat droppings (this is the most obvious sign of infestation)
- Gnawing marks along your home’s eaves or roof
- Scratching or gnawing noises in the walls or attics
- Gnawing damage to the electrical wires in your home
- Bites on fruits if you have fruit trees near close by
- Nests in your attic insulation
These signs can help you easily analyze the extent of the infestation.
Property Damage Caused by Roof Rats in the Attic
One of the biggest problems faced by homeowners with an infestation of roof rats in attics is the extensive damage they cause to property. With roof rats in attics – damages can add up very quickly. Once they gain access to your roof, these troubling pests chew on the casings of ducts, electric wires, and pipes. They also tear up the insulating material on the wall to build their nests.
Roof rats are not just confined in the attic. They also slide down and gain access to the kitchen where they eat and contaminate food. They will chew through water pipes to get to the water.
Besides causing extensive damage to your attic, roof rats can spread a hoard of infectious diseases when they contaminate food or water. Common diseases spread by roof rats include plague, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, typhus, and leptospirosis. You should consider having your home inspected to avoid further damage and health dangers.
Prevention and Removal of Roof Rats
Getting rid of roof rats in the attic can be an overwhelming task due to limited accessibility of the attic. They tend to hide in the most inconspicuous places, which makes it hard to flash them out. Consider hiring a professional exterminator or local wildlife control professionals for fast and effective removal.