Add this Critter rss news feed to your rss reader.
A single female roof rat can potentially produce up to 120 offspring in her lifetime.
Correct Trivia Answer: True
Roof rats produce litters of 6 to 20 and a typical female may produce 3 to 6 litters during a lifetime.
The roof rat, also known as the black rat, ship rat, and house rat, is a native of South or Southeast Asia and is currently distributed around the globe. Somewhat restricted to relatively warm coastal regions, in the United States it can be found from the southern Mid-Atlantic states through Florida, westward across the Deep South and into Texas. It is also found along the entire West Coast and in Hawaii and has recently been reported in more inland areas. The roof rat is a much more agile climber than the Norway rat and prefers elevated areas such as trees, vines, fences, roofs, and attics. This rat species is a major vector of diseases, most notoriously the bubonic plague.
Roof rat damage likely appear as partially eaten food sources, torn substances taken for the nest, or gnawing damage on inedible, immovable objects. Rat gnawing marks measure about 1/8” to 3/16” wide. Other typical signs of rat infestation such as feces, urine, burrows, tracks, grease marks, and repeatedly used runways, may be less noticeable in roof rat infestations due to their climbing abilities and preference for overhead spaces. It is possible for roof rats to infest the roof, attic, and or upper levels of a structure, while Norway rats simultaneously infest the basement and or lower levels of the same structure.
Roof rats enjoy a wide variety of fruits and nuts and are thus a major agricultural pest in many areas. However, they are also opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything. Roof rats will often ignore new food sources introduced into their environment, especially if familiar food sources remain readily available. This neophobia may frustrate efforts at trapping or baiting. Rats typically consume 1 to 2 ounces of water daily.
Roof rats produce litters of 6 to 20, with a gestation period of 20 to 24 days. The newly born are completely reliant on their mother and remain in the nest for the first 17 to 23 days. They reach sexual maturity in about 3 months and typically live no longer than one year. Depending upon food supply and climate, they may breed year round with peaks during the spring and fall. A typical female may produce 3 to 6 litters during a lifetime.
Non-chemical roof rat control and treatment consists of rat proofing structures, good housekeeping and trapping. When rat proofing a structure, keep in mind that roof rats are capable of squeezing through holes only 3/4 inch in diameter; are excellent climbers and jumpers; will readily gnaw through wood, plastic, and some metals; and can burrow beneath ground level or shallow obstructions.
Good housekeeping procedures should be put in place both outside and inside the building. Refuse and thick vegetation should be removed from the building's perimeter. Clean, properly functioning lidded dumpsters are essential to denying rats' access to a potential food source. Indoors, all areas including out of sight spaces such as crawlspaces, drop ceilings and attics should be kept clean. Trashcans should be lidded. All cabinetry units and stored items should be raised off the floor and located away from walls.
Simple rat snap traps are effective and widely available. Set traps in attics and along rafters where signs of rat activity have been located. Traps can be nailed into place or secured using elastic cords, Velcro, or wire, on ceiling beams, narrow ledges, or pipes. Try baiting traps with roof rats' natural food sources such as fruits, nuts, or snails.
For animal removal, animal exclusion and animal damage repair services, call the professionals at CRITTER CONTROL anywhere in the U.S., by dialing 1-800-CRITTER (274-8837).
Need Help Critter-Proofing Your Home?
Call the professionals at Critter Control today for a FREE Estimate.