roof rat in basement

What Are Roof Rats?

Medium-sized rats are pests that no home or business owner wants to discover living in or near their structures.

The roof rat is a common species of rat found living throughout our area of Florida; they and other species of rodents have learned the benefits of nesting near or with people. Our outdoor spaces and structures provide them with easy access to food, water, and of course, temperature-controlled shelter!

Roof rats have a thin, light body that allows them to be very agile and good climbers. Their name was derived from the fact that roof rats prefer to nest in the attics or upper levels of buildings when invading. They often gain access inside homes and businesses through the roof.

The body of a roof rat is covered in smooth dark brown or black fur, sometimes with gray hairs scattered throughout. Their underbelly is a lighter color than the rest of their body. These rats have large ears, a pointed nose, and a scaly tail longer than their body. From nose to tail, adult roof rats grow to between 12-16 inches in length.

roof rat looking for shelter

When Are Roof Rats Most Active?

Like other species of rodents, roof rats do not hibernate. Their ability to hoard food allows them to have access to sources of nutrition all year long.

Spotting a problem with roof rats may be difficult at first since they are shy by nature and are nocturnal- becoming most active when most people are sleeping.

Roof rats are most active and are out and about searching and gathering food in the hours after sunset and before dawn.

What Attracts Roof Rats?

Like most rodents, roof rats are omnivores and feed on various foods; however, fruits are a favorite and main staple of a roof rat’s diet. Orchards and yards with fruit trees are especially attractive to roof rats.

Other things that attract these hungry pests as they offer them a source of food include livestock feed, pet food, birdseed, trashcans, gardens, and compost bins.

Properties with lots of trees for roof rats to move through and nest in are also attractive. In addition to trees, they also like to nest up off of the ground in attics and roof soffits. Additional hiding spots that they will choose if necessary include burrowing under sidewalks or inside ground debris.

Are Roof Rats Dangerous?

Roof rats live in large populations throughout Florida and are a significant pest problem in both homes and businesses. Not only do roof rats spread diseases, bacteria, and parasites that contaminate surfaces and food, but they are also destructive.

Roof rats use their sharp front incisors to attack and feed on stored food that both people and animals eat. They can become a massive problem inside orchards; their climbing abilities allow them to climb trees and feed on their fruit.

Inside homes, nesting roof rats cause a lot of damage by chewing through wires, pipes, drywall, and insulation in attics. Their presence has the potential to lead to fires and water damage.

How Do I Get Rid Of Roof Rats?

Roof rats are a tricky pest to prevent and even tougher to eliminate. The best way to handle problems with roof rats is to partner with an experienced pest professional.

Reach out to Lindsey Pest Services to get rid of roof rats from your residential property or commercial property. Effective rodent control at Lindsey Pest Services starts with identifying the rodents present. After identifying a problem with roof rats, our rodent control experts find potential rodent entry points and provide one-time or ongoing rodent control services to eliminate the infestation.

Our rodent control services solve problems with roof rats through trapping and removal, monitoring, and exclusion. Reach out to Lindsey Pest Services today to learn more about our rodent control solutions!


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