Roof Rats in Virginia
Roof rats can be a serious problem for homeowners for several reasons. As one of the more common rats in our area, they make up for many of the local infestations. Roof rats are commensal rodents, living near and dependent upon the human habitat for survival. When these rodents infest homes, they can be found in attics, eaves and rooflines. The most common identifying characteristic of roof rats is their tail. Roof rat tails are hairless and longer than the combined length of their head and body, whereas the tails of other rats are hairy, and shorter than their head and body. They are smaller than the Norway rat.
Roof Rat Environment
True to their name, roof rats are common on roofs of homes! These unique rats prefer aerial harborages like tree canopies, dense shrubs, and climbing vines. They have pads on their feet to facilitate better climbing of narrow vines and limbs, and their tail also assists to balance when climbing high up off the ground. Roof rats generally begin searching for food shortly after sunset, using trees, utility lines and fences to gain access to attics, overhead garage storage, wood piles and other stored goods. Roof rats are nocturnal and scurrying sounds in the attic at night are often the first sign of a roof rat infestation.
Roof Rat Behaviors, Threats or Dangers
Salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat bite fever are among the dozens of diseases spread by roof rats. When foraging for food, roof rats contaminate food meant for humans, pets and livestock. Roof rats are omnivores, eating both plants and animals, and are very fond of citrus fruit. They also favor pet food, pet feces, bird seed, meat and grease, infesting storage sheds and bbq’s. Besides spreading disease, roof rats may cause extensive damage when nesting in walls and attics. Chewed, exposed wires inside walls can spark, causing interior walls to catch fire.
As soon as you notice roof rats in your Virginia property, always contact a licensed rodent control company.
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