An Introduction To Roof Rats

The roof rat is one of the two commensal rats, the other one being the Norway rat. Smaller in size than its close cousin, the roof rat gets its name from the fact that it prefers to shelter in the upper parts of a building. Once there, it will gnaw on materials and cause considerable damage, and contaminate any stored food with dangerous diseases.


The roof rat has a long and thin body, with large eyes and ears, a scaly tail and a pointy nose. Its fur is smooth of brown coloration with spots of black and a white, black or gray underside. In terms of size, the body of an adult roof rat will reach between six and eight inches in length, with the tail measuring seven to ten inches. When added together, you can find roof rats that are almost 18 inches in length, and up to 12 ounces in weight.

Signs of a roof rat infestation

There are several signs that will let you know that you have a roof rat infestation. First, of course, is seeing the actual rat, dead or living, on your property. You might also notice roof rat droppings around the home, which are soft and moist when new, or hard and dry when they get older. The droppings are about ½” in length with pointed ends. These are smaller than those of Norway rats, which can reach ¾” and which have blunted ents. Other signs include gnaw marks, greasy rub marks in your home, roof rat nests, and damaged goods and foods around the home. Roof rats may also make a lot of noise in your attic and walls.


Roof rat infestations can be prevented by sealing any cracks or holes in the exterior of the building that are larger than a quarter, and by screening all the vents and windows that lead into the home. Trees and shrubs should be trimmed so that they do not reach over or onto the building, and you want to make sure that all food sources are either in sealed containers or off your property (in the case of fruit that falls from trees). You also want to eliminate outdoor water sources, such as birdbaths, pet water dishes, and leaky sprinkler heads.

Dealing with a roof rat infestation

If roof rats still made their way into the home despite your best efforts, you can deal with the infestation by calling over a professional. Contact us today if you have problems with a roof rat infestation.

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