Finding a Roof Rat in the Attic
Smaller than their Norway rat relatives, roof rats are black to brownish gray with white underbellies and a black, hairless tail. These pests prefer to gather at high altitudes, skilled at jumping and climbing. In the wild, they nest in trees and vine-covered fences. When nesting in homes, roof rats typically choose the attic, entering through cracks in the roof or under eaves from overgrown branches, vines, or utility lines. Once established, roof rats in the attic readily breed and thrive, safe from natural predators.
Roof rats in attics can cause quite a bit of damage. Their incessant need to gnaw leads them to chew into structural beams and through electrical wiring, causing fuses to blow and creating the risk of fire. Unlike Norway rats, which leave feces and urine stains all over lower level floors, roof rats in attics tend to spend their days between floors, in utility spaces, and above false ceilings. The mess they leave remains hidden, which leads to a foul odor and a difficult clean-up job. If droppings are found in open spaces, it is likely a sign of a significant infestation. Roof rats are also capable of spreading leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and plague.
Roof Rat Proofing and Removal
To eliminate roof rats in the attic, rodent-proofing begins up high. Look to the roofline to ensure that all gaps and cracks one-half inch or greater are covered with metal flashing or steel wool. Cut back overgrown vines and branches to avoid giving these agile pests easy access indoors. It also helps to remove their food sources by keeping kitchens clean of crumbs and liquid spills. Trapping roof rats in attics can be difficult because of the cramped space, as well as the danger of kicking up dust from disease-ridden feces and dander. Therefore, the safest and simplest form of removal is to reach out to the professionals at Trutech.