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Roof Rats Menace Homeowners, Even In Winter

December 17, 2017 - Rodents

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Roof rats can be one of the more dangerous and damaging pests to find in your home, both because of their ability to carry diseases and the constant gnawing they inflict on walls and furniture. The first step to combating a rat infestation is to correctly identify the rodent in question. Roof rats have black or brown fur and long scaly tails. Occasionally these pests can grow to be quite large and even reach sizes over 40 centimeters long. However, these pests are generally longer and sleeker than their cousins, the Norway rat, and have large ears and a pointed nose.

Roof rats build their nests in the upper areas of buildings, which explains their name. These tenacious pests are excellent climbers and are also highly adaptable, which means that they can be equally at home in the corner of an attic as inside a wall. Roof rats are generally nocturnal and will often build their nests as close to a reliable food source as possible, meaning that areas around the kitchen should be the first to undergo an inspection when searching for roof rat nests. These rats are omnivorous pests, which aids in their adaptability, as they can east and digest virtually anything that’s close at hand.

Since roof rats are nocturnal, it’s possible that you may not notice any signs of an infestation until after it’s gotten out of hand. However, rat droppings are certainly a telltale sign that a number of rats might be hiding within your home. These droppings are usually about 12 to 13 millimeters long and dark in color. Another sign that you should be on the lookout for is grease smudges along walls and baseboards which indicate frequently-traversed rat pathways. These paths may lead back to a nest, which is commonly constructed from insulation, wood shavings, and other similar materials.

Roof rats have a propensity for carrying a variety of diseases, which can be easily transmitted to human beings, particularly if these pests frequently travel through food preparation areas like countertops and pantries. Bubonic plague was a historically devastating illness initially transmitted by rats and fleas, but diseases like hantavirus and trichinosis are still reported frequently throughout the United States every year.

To prevent these pests from gaining a foothold in your home in the first place, it’s important to make sure that all vents and windows are properly sealed, as roof rats have been known to squeeze through cracks no more than a quarter-inch in diameter in their search for food.

Cantu Pest & Termite is proud to be the first company in Texas to offer a Cantu Green Service to our customers in search of a more prevention-based solution to their pest removal and ongoing pest management needs while minimizing the use of pesticides.

If rats or other pests have made unwanted appearances around your home or business, call Cantu Pest & Termite and schedule an appointment today with one of our friendly, experienced rat removal experts.