Roof Rat (Rattus Rattus) can weigh up to 1 pound and is typically 10 – 12 inches long at maturity. Their color varies from gray to brown to black. They have large ears and eyes. They may forage at all times, but they typically feed at dusk and again, prior to dawn. They will store foods in a sheltered place. They often forage in groups. They prefer to nest in the upper parts of buildings like attics, but they can be found in crawlspaces and debris piles too. Roof rat colonies multiply rapidly. They live about one year and each female can produce up to 40 offspring in that timeframe. Their offspring become reproductive at 2-3 months of age so it is easy to see how quickly a major colony can be formed in a short timeframe. In short, a single mating pair of roof rats can produce a colony upwards of 1,800 rats in one year.
Roof rats are attracted to lush landscapes, dense vegetation and fruit trees. Long term control of roof rats may require landscape modification as well as excluding entry points in the structure.
Roof rats are major disease vectors. Roof rats secured their place in history by spreading the deadly bubonic plague. They are still a health threat today. Roof rats carry fleas and spread disease such as typhus, infectious jaundice, rat bite fever, trichinosis and salmonella.
Roof rats are a structural pest meaning they can cause damage to our homes and offices. Roof rats will gnaw on almost anything, including metal. They may cause electrical fires by chewing through wiring. They cause plumbing leaks by chewing through piping. They contaminate attics, insulation and wall voids with infectious droppings (hantavirus) which may cost thousands to remediate.
Roof rats are a physical threat to humans. Roof rats are aggressive when cornered and they will bite and scratch with their claws. As disease carrying vectors, a bite or scratch from a roof rat should always be evaluated by a medical doctor.
You want professional help with Roof Rats, and you want it quickly. Failing to eradicate a roof rat problem can cost you thousands in repairs and environmental remediation in just a few months, notwithstanding the potential for sickness due to exposure to disease pathogens, bites or scratches.
Finding, trapping and removing Roof Rats is not as clear-cut as you may think. The pest technician who offers to place a few traps for a low fee often has a low success rate in eradicating the entire colony. Roof rats often have multiple nesting sites, and your rats may be sharing nests with your neighbors or outside nesting sites. Their nests may be spread over 300 feet in every direction.
The House Mouse is the most common and economically important of the rodents. House mice can pose significant health and property threats. House mice multiply rapidly with a female giving birth to six babies every three weeks.
House mice are small, around 2.5″ to 3.75″ long with large ears and a pointed muzzle. They are curious and will explore almost everything. They will eat almost any human or pet food, but they prefer grain-based products. They typically feed at dusk and before dawn, but they will eat smaller meals in between. They have a keen sense of smell but weak eyesight (they only see about six inches clearly).
House mice prefer to nest in dark, secluded areas and often build nests out of paper products, cotton, packing materials, wall insulation and fabrics.
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