The roof rat (Rattus rattus), also known as the black rat or house rat, is one of the most common animals we trap here in the Atlanta area. Roof rats produce litters of 6 to 20 babies, 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 on 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. Rats are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything including birdseed (a lot of food drops to the ground, but they will climb up the feeder at night), improperly managed garbage, ornamental and native vegetation, small animals & insects, as well as bits of leftover pet food. Indications of a roof rat infestation may be hard to differentiate from those of a Norway rat, but our team can help you identify the differences.
Roof Rat Damage
Rat damage in general will likely appear as partially eaten food sources, torn substances taken from a nest, or gnawing damage on inedible and immovable objects. Rat gnaw marks measure about 1/8" to 3/16" wide. Other typical signs of rat infestation include feces, urine, burrows, tunneling in the insulation or insulation falling from vents, grease marks from highly traveled pathways, and wood damage such as holes in the fascia or soffit areas.
Identifying Roof Rats
Rats are most active at night, so hearing noises in the walls or attics during the evening hours can also be a clue as roof rats usually infest the roof, attic, and upper levels of a structure while Norway rats (much larger) infest the basement and/or lower levels of a structure.
Roof Rat Control and Treatments
Critter Control of Atlanta provides non-chemical roof rat trapping and exclusion. We begin with a thorough inspection from the rooftop to the crawl space and after the main entry points are located, we begin trapping the rats and follow up by sealing off any entry points and repairing any damage they have caused.
Roof rats are capable of squeezing through holes only 3/4" in diameter. They are excellent jumpers and will readily chew through wood or burrow beneath ground level to enter a structure. Once inside, they run up the interior of a wall cavity to enter the upper portion of the home or business.
We do not recommend the use of rodenticides as they cause rodents to die within structures in areas that are inaccessible causing long term odor problems or insect infestations. Calling Critter Control of Atlanta's trapping and exclusion system is your best method to eliminate a current rodent infestation and prevent a new one.
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