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How to Keep Your Home Free of Roof Rats

ByMicheal Weingarten

Feb 17, 2024

As with other rodents, roof rats can leave damage no matter where they go. In general, roof rats are smaller than sewer rats; however, they can grow up to 18 inches long. Compared with other kinds of rats, they are black and have sleeker bodies. Their big ears and pointed faces make them distinguishable from other rats. 

Rats are skilled climbers and construct their nests above ground. They can be found in wood piles and trees, but they particularly live in your home’s upper areas where they keep themselves warm. That is why roof rats are often seen in attics, behind walls, and inside ceilings. After they have established themselves in your house, these rats can be hard to eliminate on your own. So, if you think you have a roof rat issue, contact an expert in pest control in Kansas City to address it as soon as possible. 

How Roof Rats Survive

Roof rats particularly like to hide in garages, patios, kitchens, laundry rooms, and pool areas due to the presence of water. Thus, they can get water from birdbaths, potted plants, pet water bowls, air condition drip lines, and leaky pipes. As they desperately need water to survive, they may even chew through pipes, causing costly repairs and structural damage. 

Roof rats like to eat vegetation instead of meat scraps. So, they usually hoard seeds and nuts in their nests to save for later. These rodents are particularly attracted to dog or cat food, ornamental plants, nuts, tree bark, garden vegetables, candle wax, and paper.

How to Prevent a Roof Rat Infestation

Below are tips to keep roof rats from infesting your home:

  • Maintain your yard. Roof rats look for a hiding spot where they can also build their nests. They can use yard litter as nest material. To deprive these rodents of the much-needed nesting material, rake up all fallen leaves underneath the bushes and trees. Prune back fruit trees to make the ground underneath visible. Also, store firewood away from the wall of your house. Make sure it is elevated above the ground.
  • Eliminate their sources of food. To eliminate and prevent roof rats from invading your home, get rid of their water and food sources. Do not leave pet food out overnight. If you have fruit-bearing trees, pick up any fallen fruit immediately. In addition, keep your food stored in airtight containers and the fridge. Take out your trash every day to a tightly covered garbage can. As roof rats can get water or access your home through leaking pipes, repair leaks right away.
  • Seal access points. Even big roof rats can enter your house through small openings. So, make sure to seal cracks and gaps with appropriate material. With a pest control expert, examine your home’s exterior for any openings like around doors and windows, underneath sinks, and around the dishwasher. Caul can be used to seal cracks, but you should also consider installing mess across downspouts. 
  • Set traps strategically. Bait traps that have peanut butter can be placed in strategic locations like the laundry room, outside sheds, and kitchen. Make sure traps are placed away from your kids or pets.