Are you confused by various rumors about roof rats? Have you heard conflicting information about these rodents and want to know the truth? Here are some of the myths about these pests and the truth behind them:
Myth 1: Roof rats only live in abandoned buildings
Fact: In warm weather, roof rats prefer to nest in trees and bushes and avoid living in burrows or holes under the ground. Once the temperatures start cooling down, roof rats start looking for warmer places to live. When it starts getting cold, they climb branches and wires to reach the warmth of attics and eaves. They prefer buildings inhabited by humans because the interior temperatures rarely drop below freezing. They can chew holes the size of a quarter through vulnerable spots in your roofing and gain access into your attic or crawlspace.
Myth 2: Roof rats are harmless if you don't disturb them
Fact: Roof rats are disease carriers, and carry illnesses such as typhus, meningitis, rat bite fever, or typhus. You can become ill after being bitten by a roof rat, or if your living area becomes contaminated by roof rat body waste. Additionally, fleas may become infested with a disease when biting roof rats, then turn around and transmit the illness by biting another animal.
Myth 3: They cause little property damage
Fact: They are intense eaters, chewing holes and causing damage as they search for nourishment. They will devour just about anything, including paper, pet food, overripe fruit and worms. Because they search anywhere and everywhere, no place is safe from their destruction. They've been known to chew wires, causing electrical shorts and potential fire hazards. They'll chew through PVC pipes, drywall, or wood beams. Rodents' teeth never stop growing, so they chew on hard materials to keep their teeth from becoming overgrown.
Myth 4: They're easy to spot
Fact: Roof rats are mostly nocturnal, and are usually the most active when you're asleep. There are some signs that will signify their presence to a trained professional. For example, If you have citrus trees, a pest control specialist will examine the fruit to see if any of its been hollowed out by a hungry roof rat. You may want to listen for gnawing and scratching sounds in your walls and attic at night, but a lack of noises does not mean that they're not in your attic. A pest control specialist will look for rat droppings in your attic or near eave vent holes and use ultraviolet light on your roof to detect any dried rat urine.
Myth 5: Roof rats are easy to eliminate
Fact: Because they are so elusive, roof rats can evade most of your amateur attempts to expel them from your home. A pest control expert can check for their presence and develop a plan for exterminating them. The professional will inspect your roof, vent openings, and eaves for signs that roof rats have entered your home. They will inspect your attic to see if the rodents have disrupted your insulation or damaged any of the interior structure. Once it's been determined that there are rodents in your home, the expert can determine the best way to eradicate them. They will also point out the possible entry routes the pests used, so you can block their pathways and never worry about roof rats again.