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Tips For Keeping Roof Rats Away

October 4, 2021


Have you heard tiny scratching noises in the ceiling? Perhaps you have seen holes in the attic insulation? These signs may indicate that your home has roof rats. Roof rats may pose a serious danger to your home. At Diversified Roofing, we understand how important it is to protect your belongings and yourself from pests. Let’s learn more about these rodents, how to get rid of roof rats in Arizona, and how we can help repair the damage they may have caused to your home.

What are Roof Rats?

Roof rats are rodents that are about 40cm long. They are either brown or black in color and have very poor eyesight. The rodents have hairless tails longer than their bodies, pointed noses, and big ears and eyes. These rats love to climb and stay in high places. They are normally found in the upper parts of the building.

Dangers of Roof Rats

When roof rats gain entry into the home, they may cause significant damage. The rodents may chew through electrical wires and rip up insulation. Once they chew their way into your home, the hole they made into the roof allows water to enter. This water may eventually rot out rafters and roof supports. It could significantly damage the roof system. In addition, the water may enter insulation and behind drywall.

Roof rats may damage any furniture, boxes, or other items stored in the roof or higher floors inside your home. Not to mention the rodents could carry and transmit diseases to people through their bites, feces, urine, or fleas and parasites.

Signs of Roof Rats

Coming across a live or dead roof rat may be the surest indication that they are in your home. Other signs of roof rats include:

  • Strange sounds –These rodents are nocturnal as they are most active at night. You may hear something moving around in the walls or ceiling.
  • Droppings — You may come across mouse droppings along the floors. The droppings are usually about 12mm in length and have pointed ends.
  • Grease marks — There may be grease marks along the floor. These marks are caused by the oils in the rat’s fur being deposited along the surface.
  • Entry holes — You may notice entry holes along the gables, shingles, or vent covers. Roof rats may also gain entry through aluminum siding. If you’re getting work done on your roof from us at Diversified Roofing, we can inform you about potential infestations.
  • Electrical problems — An electrical outlet that previously worked properly may now experience shorts or no power due to the rodent eating through the wire. You may also have ceiling lights that no longer light up or that flicker constantly even after changing the light bulb.
  • Damaged insulation — The insulation may have holes, look chewed on, or be pulled out from the walls. If there is excess moisture, it could indicate a leak along the roof caused by nesting roof rats.
  • Damaged possessions — There may be holes in storage boxes kept in the attic or stored furniture. Since roof rats are omnivores, they try to eat practically anything they come across in the home.

Roof rats typically feed on nuts, berries, grains, tree bark, seeds, and meat. Once building a nest, a female rodent may produce 40 new rats in a year. If wondering about how many roof rats live together, typically a nest will hold 5 to 10 rats at one time. Roof rats live for roughly one year.

Finding them early allows you to get rid of the roof rats before they breed as well as fix the damage they caused.

Tips for Keeping Roof Rats Away

Roof rats are excellent climbers even though they have poor eyesight. They may travel along tree branches, fence posts, and utility wires. To prevent their entry in your home, you want to eliminate how they may reach the upper floors of the building.

Trim Tree Branches

Any trees close enough to the home will allow a roof rat to reach the nearest wall and get inside. They may jump from overhanging branches down to the roof where they can get into gaps under the shingles. Cut back all tree and shrub branches so they do not touch the side of the house or hang over the roof.

Close off Vents

Roof systems will have vents for attic ventilation. There may also be vent pipes for bathroom plumbing and furnace exhaust. Along the sides of the house may be vent pipes for dryers and natural gas water heaters. Placing vent covers and stainless steel mesh may prevent the rodents from entering. You could also extend vent pipes to make it more difficult for the roof rats to climb inside.

Seal and Screen Windows

Roof rats can enter holes that are roughly one-half inch in diameter. If there are old windows that have warped sills or board housing, the rodents will wedge themselves through those tiny spaces and enter. Replacing rotted wood and cracked siding can eliminate entryways. Then caulk around windows and place on screens to offer additional barriers.

Perform Roof Maintenance & Repair

Rats may chew through wood, drywall, and siding to enter. If there are cracks anywhere along the shingles, they will chew the cracks big enough to enter. Our qualified staff at Diversified Roofing can perform roof inspections to help spot the places where the rodents are entering. Getting roof repair or replacement can seal the entrances completely.

Remove Food and Water Sources

Birdbaths, bird feeders, and garbage cans set up close to the house may lure roof rats to those locations. Placing the items further away may deter them from entering. If you own fruit trees, clean up fallen fruit periodically to prevent pests from setting up a home in the yard. If there are any outdoor water and food dishes for pets, relocate them to a place where roof rats can’t reach. Ensure any pet food is placed in sealed containers.

Roof rats do not have to be a serious problem. Sealing up entry points along the roof, cutting back tree branches, and eliminating food sources can prevent them from entering your home. If you suspect damage to your roof from roof rats, contact Diversified Roofing right away.

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