The most common roof rat is the black rat. It has smooth hair, large ears, a pointy nose, and a tail longer than its body. While its body is black, its belly is gray. The Alexandrine rat appears gray, but its fur is agouti, meaning there is more than one color on each strand of hair. You may also see brown and yellow blends of fur. The fruit rat is agouti on its back but white on its belly.

No matter the subspecies, roof rats, including their tail, are usually no longer than 16 inches long.

Roof Rats vs. Other Rodents

Roof rats are frequent visitors to yards and homes across the country. Their bodies are seven or eight inches in length, though their bald, scaly tails add up to ten more inches.

Other identifying traits include:

  • their pointed noses
  • hairless ears
  • dark fur with light colored underbellies.

Similar rodents, such as the Norway rat and house mouse, are also commonly found in residential areas.

image of roof ratAre They on The Roof?

These rodents are arboreal, which means they enjoy living in trees. When foraging outdoors, roof rats prefer yards with fruit or nut-bearing trees. In homes, they can be found in attics, wall voids, and other elevated areas, including roofs. This sets them apart from their burrowing or nesting counterparts, who are more likely to be found in basements.

Disease & Damage

As roof rats scavenge for sustenance indoors, they contaminate food, resulting in costly waste. Like most other rodents, they carry diseases that can be spread to humans. Health concerns include salmonellosis and Hantavirus, as well as Lyme disease, which can be carried by infected ticks in the pests' fur. Due to these possible risks, homeowners should rely on the professionals at Critter Control to identify and manage roof rat infestations.

Roof Rat Images

roof rat on trash bin


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Brandon was out to please and make out lives easier with out bat situation. Above and beyond of the call of duty and got the job done. Thank you!
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Squirrels and chipmunks were in our attic. So we called Critter Control to do an inspection. Their representative climbed all over our very steep roof and found several places where squirrels had entered our attic.

Upon inspection of the attic, evidence of bats was also found. The Critter Control team came on time to completely caulk the entire perimeter of the house and create an exit strategy for the squirrels and bats.

Because bat droppings can cause histoplasmosis, this also required total removal and replacement of our attic insulation and sanitizing the space. Not a small job in a 1,300 sq. ft. attic! While Critter Control’s cost was high, our homeowners insurance covered most of it. Everyone representing Critter Control was professional, courteous and timely. I would highly recommend them to anyone who thinks they might have unwelcome guests living in their attic
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Madison came out the same day to do an inspection. She was knowledgeable, thorough, and highly professional. She examined the ‘matter’ that had been scattered on my threshold and thought it was foliage. But she then asked to go up to my attic space where the bats could be roosting. She had to walk up 3 flights of stairs with a heavy ladder. She again spent some time searching all the nooks and crannies and found nothing.

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