Roof Rats, also known as black rats and ship rats, were brought to this continent with Europeans in the 17–18th centuries. These invasive rodents have taken the continent by storm since being introduced. The agile roof rat has long been associated with the plague, among other diseases, and can cause considerable damage to homes and food supplies. They are so named because of their tendency to find shelter inside roof-like areas in the top of buildings. Call Critter Control of San Antonio if you experience any problems with roof rats!
Similar in appearance to other common types of rats, roof rats have dark brown or black coats, light underbellies, narrow bodies, and large ears. They possess hairless, scaly tails that are often longer than their bodies and their dexterous feet allow them to jump and climb with ease. Roof rats' large, hairless ears give them keen senses of hearing, which makes up for their relatively poor eyesight. Preferring to nest off the ground, wild roof rats nestle in trees or among dense, overgrown vegetation. Dark, enclosed spaces, such as attics and unoccupied lofts, make excellent homes for the rodents and bring them into frequent conflict with humans. The primarily nocturnal omnivores constantly explore and memorize pathways in and around their nests.
Roof Rat Damage and Problems
These popular rodents gain entry into homes and yards while searching for food and shelter. San Antonio gardens are attractive to roof rats if they have citrus trees, and elevated, closed spaces like attics and rafters of outbuildings offer a great nesting area. Upon making a home in these nesting spots, roof rats will travel a considerable distance every evening in search of food and easily find their way back to their nest. Wires and tree branches are rat highways for finding food.
- Rats don't typically initiate attacks on humans or pets, but they will scratch or bite if they feel threatened or are handled improperly. Rat droppings, urine, and bites can all spread serious diseases to humans, like leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, salmonellosis, and even plague.
- While looking for food, these strong chewers can gain access to sealed food containers and cause contamination of human-intended food and water, rendering it unusable.
- Roof rats also tear and chew insulation for nesting use, and also chew through wooden beams and wiring.
Getting Rid of Roof Rats
The best way to keep roof rats off your San Antonio property is to maintain a sanitary and uncluttered home. You can take action on the following items to make your home as unattractive as possible for roof rats.
- Cleaning up food scraps or crumbs, making sure garbage bin tops are secure, and removing pet food located outside will lessen the chances of roof rats in your San Antonio home, business or yard.
- Getting rid of possible rat nesting areas and entry points.
- Keep foliage trimmed, keep fences free of vines, and trim tree limbs so they don't overhang your home (this is easy access and a no-brainer for a curious and hungry rat).
Because rats are so notorious for spreading diseases and can be aggressive when they feel threatened, individuals should not attempt to handle roof rats. If roof rat infestation signs are identified, please contact Critter Control of San Antonio right away. Our trained rat removal technicians have tools to get rid of roof rats. Our safe, proven methods will keep you and your family—and the rats—safe. Contact us today.Request a Quote