Roof rats are a problem we don’t like to talk about. But they are a very common problem in our region. You may see one scurrying across the outside wall of your home, and it’s okay to scream – these creatures are kind of gross. But they’re one smart pest that makes them harder to eradicate. This article will help you know if you have roof rats and what to do about them.

Five Ways to Spot Roof Rats

Roof rats are all over the desert, but they like to hang out near people to take advantage of the debris we leave behind. These rodents are masters at hiding and traveling between subdivision homes in our area. These rodents have flourished despite our best efforts to wipe them out. Even if you don’t see them, don’t worry – they’re nearby, just waiting for you to leave an open garbage can. So, how do you know you have roof rats?

  1. If you have fruit trees, look for half-eaten fruits lying on the ground or even in the tree. We grow a lot of ornamental citrus fruits in the area; these trees decorate our homes and yards. So, not only do the roof rats have a convenient source of vitamin C, they’re near warmth and shelter; something everyone wants. If you notice the fruit on the ground from your trees has small bite marks taken out – roof rats have come for dinner.
  2. These rodents are not quiet. Step outside at night and listen. As they nest, they make squeaking or scratching noises. That may not be your air conditioner making that sound.
  3. Ask your dogs and cats what they know about roof rats. Animals sense the presence of these creatures so while you can’t ask your pet if you have an infestation, there may be a key in their behavior. If you have an attic full of roof rats, your cat may climb to the top of the furniture and hiss, or your dog may bark at the ceiling. If weird behaviors are happening with your pets, it’s not because they see dead people. You may have new visitors that aren’t ghostly at all.
  4. Look for poo. Gross, right? But walk around the outside of your home and look for droppings from these creatures. These droppings and their urine can cause a real health hazard for humans, so make sure you call us if you spot something unusual out there.
  5. The fifth sign you may have an infestation is, of course, if you see them. When that happens you may have a serious infestation. Roof rats are bigger than mice and they hang out in trees and roofs. So, keep your eyes peeled for something scampering across your peripheral vision – and call us.

Rats have lived alongside humans for centuries, but that doesn’t mean you want them around your home today. Any rodent is a pest, but mice, rats, and roof rats are particularly loathsome because of the diseases they carry. That’s why if you see the signs of rodent infestation, call Preventive Pest right away!