Roof Rats – How Did They Get There?
An unsettling scratching sound coming from the walls and ceiling, peculiar droppings and agitated pets. If this sounds familiar then you may have roof rats. Generally appearing black in color, these pesky critters can cause physical damage to your property and spread nasty diseases. Although alarming, there is no reason to panic if you know how best to get rid of them. We’ll take a look at the dirty world of roof rats, when you’re most likely to encounter them and then of course, best practice for getting rid of them and making sure that they don’t come back.
How the Roof Rats Got There
These creatures are adept at climbing and like to make their nests in high places. This is why they’re commonly found in attics and roofs. Extended tree limbs that grow next to your roof, climbing ivy, power lines, sewer pipes, toilets and even your walls can be routes that the rats use to get into your roof. They can squeeze through holes as small as the size of a nickel and can gnaw away at even smaller holes to make them large enough to fit through. Once inside, they are extremely good at finding their way around and staying out of sight.
They are drawn to your roof by the shelter it provides from predators, warmth and proximity to food. Because of this, frequently leaving food on the countertop or delaying repairs on holes in your roof and walls is a recipe for a rat infestation disaster.
Roof Rat Season
With warmth being one of the primary goals of these rats, it follows that they are more prevalent in your home during the cooler months. However, because the weather in South Florida never gets too cold, roof rats can be found scurrying through your home all year round.
Dangers of Roof Rats
Rats are cursed with teeth that don’t stop growing and they will chew on almost anything available in an attempt to keep their teeth at a practical size. They have often been known to gnaw through the insulation on electrical wires and if this happens to the wires in your home, it can create an electrical short which can lead to a fire. This is obviously a serious hazard to be avoided at all costs.
Roof rats can be teeming with ticks and fleas, both capable of carrying serious diseases which can be transmitted to humans and pets. Diseases can even be transmitted through the air as rodent urine crystalizes and becomes airborne. These are some of the diseases that have been known to be transmitted by these rats:
- Bubonic Plague: Famous for its devastating effect on the world during the Dark Ages. Although it is now treatable, it still creates a serious health risk if you are bitten by a plague-carrying flea brought into your home by a roof rat.
- Lyme Disease: Causing a rash and flu-like symptoms, this disease is transmitted by ticks that are often found on rats.
- Rabies: This disease is transmitted directly through the bite of an infected rat and can be deadly for humans.
- An assortment of other nasty diseases carried by rats can be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Website.
How to Get Rid of Roof Rats
You could personally try to set up an elaborate system of traps to catch the rats that have made their home in your roof, but the problem is that unless you catch every last one, they can simply breed a new infestation. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you acquire the services of a professional who is able to effectively eliminate your rat problem in as humane a manner as possible. Aside from effective extraction of the rats, your roof or attic will require a thorough cleaning to restore the space to a healthy state and to deter rats from returning in the future. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric will not only get rid of your rat problem but also restore the roof or attic to prime condition by cleaning the surfaces and replacing insulation. If you’re serious about ridding your home of roof rats, give us a call at 1.888.TELL.ART or book an inspection at ArtPlumbingandAC.com.