Although roof rats prefer warm, coastal climates, they thrive in many regions of the U.S. Because the pests are nocturnal and tend to nest overhead, infestations can be difficult to spot. To start effective control as soon as possible, keep an eye out for signs of roof rats in homes.
Identifying a Roof Rat Infestation
Signs of roof rats around the house include:
- Droppings along baseboards
- Noises coming from attics and walls just after dusk
- Remnants of nests in attics, cabinets, and other areas above the ground
- Smudges on surfaces from the pests' oily fur
- Gnaw marks on wood trim, wires, and other household items.
Roof Rats or Norway Rats?
Roof rats and Norway rats are the two rat species most likely to enter homes. While the signs of roof rats and Norway rats are similar, there are a few differences that aid in exclusion and removal.
Roof rats leave behind the most evidence of their presence in elevated places, where they prefer to nest. On the other hand, Norway rats live at ground level or below. Extensive rat damage in basements or burrows around home foundations are likely not a sign of roof rats.
Problems & Concerns
Although roof rats aren't aggressive toward people, the pests create many health risks. In fact, some of the signs of roof rats in the house indicate possible dangers to residents as well.
Droppings in pantries suggest that the pests are feeding on stored goods. Food tainted with rodent waste can transmit salmonellosis and many other illnesses. In addition, roof rat nests may contain disease-causing parasites from the pests' fur, while chewed wires pose a fire hazard.
To safely handle infestations, take note of any signs of roof rats in the home and contact the friendly, efficient professionals at Critter Control for long-term solutions.