Tis’ the season! No, I’m not talking about Christmas, I am talking about rats. In all fairness, hearing scratching in your attic doesn’t always mean it is rats, it could be mice, it could be raccoons, heck it could even be pigeons. But, since it is late October and the time when rats start making their way into your homes to nest, we are going to chat about rats.
If you have been following our blogs, we recently posted a story about a client who thought she had rats but in reality her house was haunted! Well, being in the pest control biz. for over 20 years we definitely do not have a shortage of crazy stories. We had another client that called 911 because she swore there was someone in her attic. Ultimately the police came out, guns drawn and entered the attic. They didn’t find a intruder but what they did find is a huge mass of rodent dropping and several rats scurrying about the attic.
So before you call 911 let’s get to the bottom of what is going on above.
Fun Fact: Mice can fit in holes/entry points as small as a dime and rats can fit in holes/entry points as small as a quarter.
There are 3 subspecies of roof rats: the black rat (black upper body with a gray belly), Alexandrine rat (brown streaked with a gray upper body and gray belly) and the fruit rat (brown streaked with a gray upper body and white belly). Roof rats live most of their lives in trees or areas high above the ground such as your attic. This is why it is very important to make sure you trim your trees back to prevent easy access into your home. If a limb is touching your home, it can be a super highway to your attic.
Not unlike any other animal species, roof rats have a social hierarchy in which the dominant males and females are likely to get the best harborage sites and access to food. The weaker males and females will occupy the less desirable places.
Roof Rat Reproduction.
- Gestation (21-23 days)
- Litter Size (4-8 pups)
- Litters Per Year (3-6)
- Reproductive Maturity (About 3 months)
Fun Fact: Female roof rats can become pregnant again in as little as one or two days after delivering a litter of pups.
How To Get Rid of Roof Rats.
You make not know this but roof rats cause about 8% of house fires each year. Their little teeth are super sharp and are capable of chewing through electrical wiring and duct work. Knowing these stats, it is super important to take action as soon as possible. Here are some steps to becoming rat free:
- Cut all vegetation away from your home
- Thoroughly inspect your homes exterior and roof for any gaps 1/2 inch or larger. Make sure to not forget to take a flashlight and look inside those eaves for direct access into your attic. Pro Tip: Look for greasy rub marks, these are a dead giveaway for rat entry ways.
- If possible, place rat traps in your attic. If you have access and can do an inspection of your attic, it is best to look for the rat runways and place the traps there.
- Place rat bait stations on the exterior foundation of your home.
- Once you are no longer hearing any activity, seal up the entry points you found.
We know that getting rid of rats in your attic can be a stressful situation, but we at HowToPest.com are here to help. You can call or chat with a pest professional that can give you advise for your specific situation!