All kinds of rats spell disaster for our homes. They cause a lot of damage and contaminate food. Since they are the carrier of many diseases these rodents need to be kept out of our homes at any cost.
As the name suggests, roof rats are usually found in elevated spots such as the attics, trees and roofs. But if required these rodents can nest on the grounds too. A roof rat is hairless and has a long tail which is longer than its body and head. These are nocturnal rodents who are exceptional climbers.
Roof rats are very active breeders and can reproduce through the entire year. On an average, the roof rat produces around 40 rats per year. These rodents mature at around 2 to 5 months and go on to produce 6 to 8 young ones in a single birth.
Do you have a roof rat infestation?
Rat infestation is very easy to spot. Here are a few signs that will confirm a roof rat infestation.
- Rat droppings around and inside your home.
- Noises in the attic at night.
- Spotting a dead or live rat inside your home. Usually roof rats stay hidden, but if you have spotted a live one it means that they have over populated nests in your home.
- Presence of rat nests in boxes, cabinets or drawers.
- Half eaten fruits and vegetables.
- Burrows inside the garden.
Damages caused by roof rats
- Similar to other rodents, roof rats contaminate food materials including animal feed.
- They also spoil containers and other food packing materials.
- Rats are also notorious for nibbling on electrical wires and on wooden materials such as doors.
- Rats rip off the insulation on ceilings and walls to make nests.
- They damage plants and the garden by burrowing.
- They also cause a lot of diseases in humans and pets.
Diseases caused by roof rat infestation
Rats carry many deadly diseases that can be transmitted to others through bites, contamination or from fleas that feed on the dead roof rats.
- The Bubonic plague was the most dreaded disease which wiped out an entire population of Europe in the early age.
- Trichinosis is another disease which gets transmitted by consuming undercooked meat which has been contaminated by rats.
- The rat bite fever is contracted through the bacteria in its mouth
- Rats can contaminate not just the food but also the surfaces that prepare food. This can lead to food poisoning.
- The Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is contracted by inhaling rodent urine, droppings or even the saliva.
How to prevent a roof rat infestation?
Since roof rats are a great threat to our health and well-being, it is very important to check periodically for roof rat infestations and to make your home rat proof. To prevent an infestation, keep the windows and all other vents in your home screen. These rats can get into your home through the openings in your walls and roofs. So it would be a good idea to keep all the gaps closed.