A Handy Guide To Roof Rats For Elk Grove Property Owners

A roof rat in rafters

There are many examples in the animal kingdom of creatures with names that make people go, “Huh”, like the paradoxical frog or the chicken turtle. There is even one insect called a pleasing fungus beetle. Now, we aren’t here today to talk about exotic animals with weird names. We are here to talk about a common home-invading rodent here in Elk Grove with a name that suggests it is crawling onto buildings. If you have never heard of the roof rat or are looking for some helpful tips to keep these pests off your property, here is a helpful guide for you to use.

How To Identify Roof Rats

A roof rat is not like your typical rat. They are smaller, thinner, and often mistaken for mice. The best way to tell these pests apart from other rodents is by their pointed snout, large ears, smooth grey coat, and a dark scaly tail. 
Another thing that sets roof rats apart is their ability to climb and jump. These agile pests can jump over four feet from tree branches onto homes, swing beneath rafters, climb pipes, balance across wires, and perform other amazing feats to get on and into homes.

Problems Caused By Roof Rats

All rodents are born with two, sharp front incisor teeth; roof rats are no exception. To keep these teeth filed down at a comfortable length, these pests will chew on anything and everything in and around homes. Beyond the general gnawing roof, rats will use their teeth to get from point A. to point B. As a general rule, if anything stands in between these rodents and a place they want to be, they will attempt to chew through it. This often leads to holes through walls, severed electrical wires, and destroyed utility pipes. 
In addition to chewing on everything in sight, roof rats also spread disease-causing organisms. As these filthy pests travel around, they pick up bacteria, pathogens, and parasites onto their fur and into their bodies. Inside homes, roof rats spread these dangerous sickness vectors off their bodies and through their fecal matter and urine. Some of the most common diseases roof rats and the parasites they carry spread include salmonellosis, hantavirus, rat-bite fever, and plague.

Prevention For Roof Rats

Because roof rats are smaller and more agile, achieving reliable prevention is a bit difficult. If you are up for the task, use these tips to make your home less attractive and accessible to these pests:

  • Trim back tree branches and bushes at least five feet from the exterior of your home.
  • Install wire screens over vents leading out of your home and out-spouts for gutters. 
  • Use steel wool and a caulking gun to fill in gaps, holes, and cracks in your home’s exterior foundation.
  • Repair damage to your roofline, shingles, and make sure your chimney is equipped with a rodent-proof cap.
  • Make sure your home’s door sweeps, weatherstripping, and window/door screens are in good condition.
  • Address moisture issues by fixing leaky pipes, repairing broken gutters, and using a dehumidifier indoors.
  • Clean your home regularly.
  • Store leftovers and repackage food packaged in cardboard boxes into airtight heavy deputy containers.

How To Get Rid Of Roof Rats

If you suspect your home has an active infestation of roof rats, we have an answer for you at Pro Active Pest Control. Our team is equipped with advanced trapping systems and trained in rodent prevention in order to quickly and effectively handle roof rat problems around homes.

Reach out to our team today to schedule an inspection for your Elk Grove home. We will help determine if you have a problem and offer a reliable solution to get your home back to being rodent-free.