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Roof Rats In DC, MD & VA

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Rat Control Services In DC, MD & VA

Miche Pest Control is a top rated, family owned and operated pest control company that provides exterminating services that get rid of rodents and other pests from inside and around homes and businesses in Washington DC, Maryland & Northern Virginia. Our expert technicians get rid of rats fast, and use preventative methods to keep rats and other rodents from coming back after they've been eliminated. Miche Pest Control has a 4.9 star rating and over 1,000 reviews online - click the button below to get started, or give us a call today!

Roof Rats

Roof rats, which may be called black rats, ship rats, or house rats, have thin, light bodies that enable them to be very agile. Unlike Norway rats, roof rats are good climbers, with extra food pads on the bottom of their feet and extra long tails that help them balance and climb. They prefer aerial harborages, and will live in trees, shrubs, and dense vines. While roof rats may be entirely black in color, that is not always the case. Their fur can be various shades of brown or black, with gray, cream, or white bellies. Adult roof rats are medium-sized, weighing about 8 to 12 ounces, and measuring about 16 inches in length from their nose to the tip of their tail. The tail of the roof rat is longer than its body, and it has large ears and a nose that is more pointed in shape than the blunt nose of the Norway rat. Roof rats, when found in a residential setting, are most often found inhabiting ceiling spaces or attics.

How Quickly Do Roof Rats Reproduce?

In general, roof rats will typically have litters with 6 to 12 young. Their gestation period is approximately 21 to 25 days, and if a female rat lives for a year (in the wild, most rats will live about 5 to 6 months), she will typically produce 3 to 6 litters. Young rats become mature at about three months old.

How Long Do Roof Rats Live?

Only about 5% of rats in the wild will live for a year or longer. On average, wild roof rats live for approximately 5 or 6 months. While they typically live for less than a year, they can produce up to 40 new offspring during that short time period.

Are Roof Rats Dangerous?

Roof rats are dangerous for a number of reasons. They spread numerous diseases including salmonella, E. coli, rat-bite fever, and more through their excrement and saliva. They carry pathogens from areas they forage into human dwellings, and their constant gnawing can create health hazards, even fires if they’re allowed to gnaw on electrical wires. Their gnawing into roofs and siding can also lead to additional problems, such as moisture problems and secondary pest infestations, which can carry their own complications. Roof rats also have poor vision. To safely find their way around, rats rub against walls and furniture as they walk, leaving behind unsightly grease and dirt marks (sebum).

Are Roof Rats Nocturnal?

Roof rats are primarily nocturnal. Being nocturnal, it can take some time to discover their presence on your property because they are most active while you sleep. If you are suddenly seeing rats out and about during the day, a large infestation is most likely present. If you see a rat or two during the day, that doesn't necessarily always mean that there is a severe infestation, especially if the rats you see are young. However, if you see rats both during the day and at night, and the daytime sightings are frequent and without obvious explanations such as the rats taking advantage of available food, then a severe or quickly reproducing rat infestation is likely.

Why Do I Have A Roof Rat Problem?

Roof rats are always on the hunt for food, water, and shelter. If your home provides these in the form of dirty dishes, pet food, moisture problems, or available nesting materials, don’t be surprised if roof rats are found shortly thereafter. Because they’re such good climbers, roof rats are also uniquely attracted to holes found in your roof line or to food that’s been thrown out but left in bins they’re able to climb into.

Where Will I Find Roof Rats In My Home?

Roof rats prefer to hide and nest up off the ground. Outside, they make fruit trees, vines, dense shrubbery, roof eaves, and wood piles into nesting spots. Inside our homes and garages, they live in roof rafters, attics, and above ceilings.

How Can I Get Rid Of Roof Rats?

When rodents invade, there’s only one real option to eliminate them: contact a professional for help. At Miche Pest Control, our team of experienced and licensed rodent removal experts are trained on the biology and behavior of rats, and will use effective modern techniques to control them. Contact us today to learn more about why rodent removal is always best left to the pros.

How Can I Prevent Roof Rats In The Future?

Here are some tips you can use to minimize your risk for roof rat infestation:

  • Cut back tree branches from your roofline to prevent roof rats from being able to gain easy access to the roof.
  • Place metal sheeting (rat guards) at the bottom of trees to make it more difficult for roof rats to climb them.
  • Repair any holes in your roofline immediately.
  • Keep all food in your home stored in sealed containers.
  • Store all exterior garbage in bins with tight-fitting lids.

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