Every other call sounds like, “I’m hearing noises in my attic”, “I saw a rat”, “I think we have mice”, etc… These callers definitely want to know how to get rid of rats in their home.
First of all, the damage that can be caused by rodents can be serious – they gnaw on everything and in an attic they like to chew on the electrical wires and this can cause a fire.
Second, the damage caused by the excrement and urine left behind from rodent activity can be very disgusting, smelly and of course harbour disease carrying organisms, germs and viruses.
And Third, once the roof rat establishes a harbourage (nice cozy place to live), they will start to reproduce. This is a major concern because of how fast this can happen. One rat can move in, have a litter of 5 to 8 pups in 21 to 23 days. Within 2 to 3 months that generation, the 5 to 8 pups can now all repeat the process. So that being said, round two could potentially add up to 72 brand new roof rats all within 3 to 4 months, that’s should put us into early spring that our new and expanding family has been enjoying their new digs up in the attic, inside a wall, under a cabinet or some nice hiding spot in your home or business all winter long.
Roof Rat Signs
Roof rat signs include smudge marks on surfaces from oil and dirt rubbing off their fur as they travel. Because of their propensity to climb, look for these smudges up high on structures, e.g. between rafters, as opposed to marks along walls near the floor which could be made by other rodent species. Because they are often living overhead, between floors or above false ceilings, there is less tendency to see signs of roof rat tracks, urine, and droppings. Sounds in the attic are often the first indication of the presence of roof rats in a residence. At night when the house is quiet the rats may be heard scurrying about.
Prevention and Control of Roof Rats
Roof rats are not protected by law and may be controlled by any legal means. Effective methods of roof rat control include exclusion, habitat modification, trapping, and poison bait. The use of traps and/or poison baits can effectively provide short-term control of an existing roof rat problem, but using the methods of exclusion and habitat modification can provide effective, long-term control by preventing roof rat infestation.
Since the control of roof rats often involves some safety risks (the use of ladders, tools, toxic materials, etc.) as well as knowledge of roof rat behavior, the services of a professional pest control operator may be more viable option than a do-it-yourself approach.
Don’t Waste Your Money
One control method not recommended is electronic devices. No repellents are registered for rat control. There is no sound evidence that products sold as general animal repellents are effective in repelling rats. Devices marketed to frighten rodents by producing high-frequency sounds are not effective. Rats become accustomed to these sounds quickly. And NO the cat will not take care of the problem! Predation by domestic cats will have very little effect on roof rat populations.
For more information on preventing and controlling roof rats, Call 623-435-0228 and talk to the Phoenix pest control professionals at Invader Pest Management.