What is worse than having rats around a home? ~Having rats on top of a home. Roof rats are a common problem for homeowners here in Orlando. These agile rodents use their climbing ability to climb trees, scale homes, and get into areas that many other rodents cannot. If you would rather not find these pests on or inside your Orlando home, we are here today to help. This is everything you need to know to identify these pests and some prevention tips to help keep them outside where they belong.
Identifying Roof Rats
Roof rats are not like other rats that live in our area. They look similar to mice and are agile like squirrels. Identify one of these rodents by its brown fur, intermixed black hairs, long scaley tail, blunt nose, black eyes, small, round ears, and lighter-colored underside. Thought to have originated from Southeast Asia, these pests are a serious problem for homeowners and are thought to have contributed to the old saying: “It’s raining cats and dogs.” This is because of the way they would run over thatched roofs while being chased by cats and dogs, which regularly caused collapses.
The Dangers Of Roof Rats
Roof rats threaten homeowners in many ways. To start, they are vectors for dangerous diseases like salmonellosis, hantavirus, and rat-bite fever. They spread diseases by way of pathogens on their bodies, by biting, and through their fecal matter and urine. Roof rats also carry fleas and ticks into homes. These small blood-feeding bugs are vectors for their own diseases and a threat to both people and animals.
How Roof Rats Get Into Homes
Although roof rats can climb onto homes and get indoors through attic windows, unprotected chimneys, and damaged roof lines, they are also capable of invading in other ways. More specifically, roof rats use their sharp, strong teeth to chew holes through walls and to widen preexisting holes. Sometimes roof rats don’t need to use their teeth and can squeeze through gaps under doors, through damage in exterior foundations, and into other entry points around the exterior of homes.
The Best DIY Tips For Keeping Out Roof Rats
To keep roof rats out of your home, you have to do two things: seal off entry points; and address factors that attract roof rats in the first place. To do this, here are some prevention tips to use.
- Keep your yard free of clutter and debris. Rats love to hide in or under clutter.
- Trim back bushes and branches five feet from your home’s exterior.
- Seal entry points in your home’s exterior foundation using a caulking gun and some steel wool.
- Equip your chimneys with rodent-proof caps.
- Repair damage to your home’s exterior, roofline, and shingles.
- Replace or repair screens around your home.
- Make sure all of your doors and windows are seated properly.
- Avoid feeding your pets outdoors.
- Clean up fruits, vegetables, and other produce that drops into your yard.
- Thoroughly clean your home at least once a week.
- Store leftovers inside airtight containers.
- Address moisture issues like leaky pipes, broken gutters, and water buildup.
When To Contact A Profesional About Your Rodent Problems
Roof rats are not pests you should try to handle on your own. If these invasive rodents are crawling around inside your living areas, do not hesitate to involve the experts at Green Flag Services. We will perform a detailed inspection of your home and property and implement fast-working control methods to capture and remove these dangerous creatures. Call us today to discuss your options for rodent control and schedule your Orlando home for a service visit.