The Most Common Ways Roof Rats Get Into Your Tyler Home

Have you heard about the man who let his pet rats loose in the house? The story goes that they formed their own colony and soon were caught nibbling on him while he was sleeping! If this kind of thing can happen with pet rats, what sorts of horrors can result when wild rats get into Tyler homes? Today's article focuses on roof rats, the dangers they bring, how they get in, and how to keep them out!

What Do Roof Rats (aka Black Rats) Look Like?

At first glance, a roof rat can look like an oversized house mouse. These two rodents do look similar (and they do pose similar problems) but since roof rats are larger, the problems they bring can be more serious.

Roof rats can be black or brown in color, have long, hairless, scaly tails, large ears and eyes, and pointed noses. They are smaller than Norway rats, measuring around 40 cm long, and are sleeker in appearance. Roof rats, like all rodents, come equipped with a set of ever-growing incisor teeth that need to constantly be worn down or else they will grow too long. This is why rodents never stop gnawing on things.

Can Rats Hurt You?

Gnawing on things is only the first problem that rats present. Having rats around, or worse, inside your Tyler home, can bring a number of issues that are potentially dangerous to home and health.

Rats Chew on Everything: As mentioned, all rodents have the need to chew. If roof rats get into your Tyler home, they can chew on everything from priceless stored items in the attic to insulation and wiring. If they gnaw on a wire and create a spark, it could result in a house fire. Rats have also been known to chew on piping, causing leaks and water damage.

Rats Leave Waste Everywhere: When rats get in, they explore the entire house looking for food, water, and nesting materials. When they do this, they leave a wake of urine and fecal matter everywhere they go. Roof rat droppings are 6-12 mm in length and are pointed at the ends.

Rats Transmit Diseases: When rats leave droppings in pantry foods, they can transmit diseases such as Salmonellosis. They can transmit rat bite fever through the bacteria in their mouths, and hantavirus through the inhalation of particles from their droppings or urine. And they can transmit food poisoning when they contaminate food-prep surfaces. Though rare in the United States, there are still outbreaks of plague in the world, and roof rats are the principal reservoirs for this. Finally, roof rats can transmit diseases through physical contact when they bite or scratch a person.
Rats Can Deposit Parasites All Over: When roof rats get into Tyler homes, they rarely come alone. Some hitchhikers that rodents bring into homes include lice, mites, ticks and fleas. These parasites come with their own list of potential problems.

How Do Roof Rats Get Into Tyler Homes?

When thinking about how roof rats get into your home, you need to ask yourself, "Where do roof rats live? In the wild, roof rats live up high in trees. When in residential areas, they use trees as well as power lines and other high structures to get to the roofs of houses and other buildings. Since they are small and have a unique bone structure, roof rats are able to squeeze through holes that are the size of the end of their nose (as small as one-half inch in diameter!) Common ways they get into Tyler homes include:

  • Chewing holes in roof areas to get in
  • Chewing existing holes larger so they can squeeze through
  • Squeezing in through damaged vent covers
  • Wiggling their way in through gaps in between shingles
  • Finding ways in through existing cracks in the roof/attic area
  • Breaking in through damaged attic screens
  • Crawling through open, screenless attic windows

In the winter, roof rats get in more often because they sense heat inside. This makes fall and early winter exclusion a high priority.

So How Do You Get Rid Of Roof Rats?

Before roof rats get into a home, they first come onto a property and near a home. (One way to know if roof rats are near your home is to check outbuildings for signs of a roof rat infestation.) Here are some ways to discourage roof rats:

  • Remove food and water sources that may be drawing them onto your property.
  • Trim tree branches away from your roof areas. This will help keep roof rats, as well as squirrels and other climbing animals, away from your roof areas.
  • Seal up any possible entry points. Repair gaps, cracks and holes. Make sure vents are covered and make sure all attic window screens are present and in good condition.
  • Enlist the help of Innovative Pest Control.

While prevention is key in all pest issues, once roof rats get into your Tyler home, it is best to get professional help in getting them out. If you are tired of dealing with roof rats in your home, reach out to Innovative today for prompt, effective assistance.

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