black rat on kitchen floor

What are roof rats?

Roof rats are a species of rodent that has come to depend on people and our property to provide them with some of their food and shelter needs. They have a smaller and slimmer build than other rats, and their body has dark, smooth fur. Their scaly, hairless tails are longer than their body, head, and pointed nose combined. Their small size sometimes causes young roof rats to be confused with adult mice. As their name suggests, roof rats are skilled climbers and often find their way into buildings at the roof level.

rat on a wooden pellet

Are roof rats dangerous?

Like all other rodents, roof rats have large front incisors which grow continuously throughout their life. When roof rats decide to keep their teeth sharp by chewing on wires, pipes, siding, drywall, and furniture stored in our homes, they become destructive, unwanted pests.

Unfortunately, roof rats are more than just destructive; they are dangerous. Roof rats carry and transmit diseases that make people ill; they also contaminate food and surfaces with bacteria that they carry on their bodies or in their saliva or excrement. 

Also, rats have tiny beady eyes which provide them with poor eyesight. To find their way from their nest to a food source and back, they follow the same path each day. As they find their way by moving along walls and furniture, they leave behind unsightly grease and dirt marks.

Why do I have a roof rat problem?

Roof rats love nothing more than to take advantage of any food and water that they come across. Often our properties unintentionally provide roof rats with enough food and water to keep their bellies full and their hearts happy.

Roof rats forage for food from our trash cans, pet’s food bowls, gardens, fruit trees, berry bushes, and compost piles. Once rats discover a food source, they will keep returning until you take measures to stop them. Also, it is essential to note where there is one roof rat; there will be more. Roof rats live together in groups or colonies. 

Where will I find roof rats?

Roof rats are a common species of rat. They live both in the city and suburbs, preferring to live near bodies of water. Cities are a place where rats can thrive; these locations provide plenty of food and safe shelter for them to hide.

These agile rats are good climbers and live in shrubs, trees, ivy, and vines. They sometimes also nest in piles of wood or near the foundations of buildings. Inside of a home or business, roof rats prefer to live in upper levels like attics, behind walls, above ceilings, or the upper parts of cabinets. 

How do I get rid of roof rats?

Getting rid of roof rats from your yard, home, or business is best left up to a professional. The professionals here at Amco Pest Solutions will provide you with the year-round solutions needed to get rid of roof rats and prevent them from returning. Whether you are looking to get rid of a current roof rat infestation or avoid future problems with them, our family owned and operated company is here to help.

Our professionals are committed to providing the pest control services needed to help home and business owners keep their properties free of roof rats and other common pests.

Amco Pest Solutions provides residential pest control and commercial pest control services throughout New Jersey, the five boroughs of New York, and South Florida. Reach out today to learn more about our effective roof rat control solutions!

How can I prevent roof rats in the future?

To make your property less attractive to roof rats, whether you live in New Jersey, New York, or South Florida, use the following, easy to execute, prevention tips:

  • Make accessing your home as difficult as possible for these great climbers. Cut back tree branches, vines, and ivy away from your home’s exterior.
  • Keep your property from providing easy access to food by keeping locking lids on trash cans, removing ripe fruit from trees, and picking up pet food at night.
  • Eliminate sources of water by fixing leaky pipes, storing containers that collect water upside down, and keeping gutters clear of debris.
  • Keep roof rats from gaining access through the roof by repairing loose roof shingles, placing caps on chimneys, and sealing gaps at roof intersections. 
  • Use steel wool to keep roof rats from moving inside through spaces in the foundation, water pipes, or gaps in walls. Other weaker materials like plastic are easily chewed through by rats.

Helpful Articles

The Truth About Roof Rats In New Jersey


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