Roof Rats

The Roof Rat

Rats, especially roof rats, are annoying pests. If unfortunately, they invade your house, they won’t only damage your household items and eat away pantry items, they will also contaminate the food they come across. It’s better to be aware of these mammals so you can combat them in an effective way.



Roof Rats

Roof Rats. By H. Zell (reframed by Michelet-密是力 (talk) 06:42, 6 June 2013 (UTC)) – Reframed version of file:Rattus_rattus_01.JPG, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

Roof rats are usually black or brown in color and have smooth fur. They have a sleek body compared to Norway rats. They have a pointed nose, and large eyes and ears. They also possess a long tail (4.3 inches long). They are usually almost 16 inches long.


As their name refers, roof rats live in elevated places like house roofs, attics, upper parts of the buildings, on trees or even on debris and wood piles. Roof rats are excellent climbers and their adaptive nature helps them to survive in different types of surroundings.

These are nocturnal rodents and start their hunt for food after sunset. They are omnivorous in nature and eat almost anything that’s available but prefer to feed on meat, grains, tree bark and fruits. They live on trees or in attics, but when searching for food, they climb down to food sources on the ground. They can travel up to 300 feet in their quest for food.

Roof rats are food hoarders too. Therefore, besides eating the food, they stash solid food like nuts, seeds, etc., in their nests. These caches of food can easily be located behind boxes in a garage or behind wooden piles.


It’s difficult to spot a roof rats presence on the ground without the help of droppings, tracks or urine because they live in overhead spaces and come down only for food. If you spot a roof rat on its own, then it means there is a serious rodent infestation.

Scurrying sounds coming from the attic or food-storage facilities at night is an indication that there is a rodent problem. Damaged outdoor vegetation is a tell-tale sign of roof rats’ presence. If you spot these clues, then check walls and aerial routes of your food-storage facility. There could be dirt and smudge marks that also hint toward the presence of rats.


Roof rats’ infestation is a common problem faced by every other household and shelter. Water and food are the things that lure them to your vicinity. The first thing that attracts them to invade your house is the easy availability of plenty of food. If you have fruits planted in your garden or have access to your food-storage room, they will feel free to enter, especially if there are entry points available for them.

Climbing is their routine, so they won’t mind shuttling between your attic’s roof and your kitchen’s shelf. Besides food and water availability, the other thing that attracts roof rats is shelter. If your building provides essential shelter, then they’ll freely infest your place and make their way to the available food sources.


It’s not easy to get rid of roof rats because they come out at night for their food hunt and hide in hard-to-reach, unimaginable places in your house. But you can take the following corrective and preventive measures to get rid of a rodent problem.


Start your roof rats extermination process by cleaning your house and surroundings. Get rid of debris, put outdoor trash in tight-lid bins, trim your trees, remove wood piles from the garden and store food in airtight containers. This will help in diminishing their available food sources.

Seal the entry points:

If somehow you locate the entry points of roof rats, seal them instantly. Also, put caps on the chimneys and fix loose roof shingles to eliminate any possible future entry points of these pesky mammals.

Call an exterminator:

It’s difficult to trap roof rats on your own. If you are facing a serious roof rat infestation, then it’s better to get help from professionals.

Roof Rat Facts

  • Roof rats are color blind and largely rely on other senses when searching food.
  • They can easily climb on elevated places like overhead service lines and use their long tails to maintain balance there.
  • Roof rats suffer from neophobia and avoid anything new in their surroundings.

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