Roof Rats: Facts, Identification And Control | Pestclue

Roof Rats: Facts, Identification and Control

Roof rats as the name implies, are a common type of household pest, that we hear running around our roof. They also stay in garages and attics, but most of their lives and activities are done up on our roof.

Roof rats are however distinct from other of their species, both in facts, life span, feeding, and choice of habitat.

We have chosen to bring this article to you, with the aim of explaining thoroughly everything concerned with roof rats.

In addition to that, we have gathered lots of fun, shocking, educative, and enlightening facts and many more about roof rats.


Facts About Roof Rat

Roof Rats

Roof rats have lots of amazing and fun facts attached to them, which you might not dream of which actually exist.

Below are some facts about roof rat, which carries facts on behavior, character, feeding, mating, habitat lifespan, and many others.

  • Roof rats are also known as ship rats, and house rats.
  • They are seen to mostly live in the upper parts of a building.
  • They are omnivores, which means they feed on both flesh and crops.
  • Roof rat tend to have common predators such as man, owls, and cats.
  • Roof rat can serve as a variety of pets, in other words, they can be conserved.
  • This set of rats live up to a year, but if conserved, or kept as pets, could surprisingly live up to 4 years.
  • These rats tend to squeak loudly when pressurized, when socializing or when threatened.
  • Roof rats are quite fast for their size, as they are capable of running 8mph at short distances, and they use their tails for balancing on ledges.
  • Male roof rat are called Buck and female roof rat are called Doe.
  • Spotting a roof rat on the ground running around at night means their nest capacity is full, but they are nocturnal pests.
  • This specie of rats can recognize poison after a tiny taste of it.
  • A full-grown rat may enter your home via a space no larger than the diameter of a quarter if it has to.

    Rats have powerful teeth that enable them to gnaw through a variety of materials, including glass, cinderblock, wire, metal, and lead.


    They are able to locate their food sources with the assistance of their senses of smell, taste, touch, and sound.


    The bubonic plague sometimes referred to as the “Black Death,” is another disease that is transmitted by rats.

You now have access to a list of 15 interesting and instructive facts about roof rats, which includes a concise summary of information pertaining to these rodents’ habits, diet, habitat preferences, longevity, and many other topics.


Read also: How to Tell How Many Rats are in Your House


Roof Rat Identification

Roof rats can consume such a wide range of agricultural products, which poses a significant challenge to farmers. It is common practice for people to keep them as pets.

The common black rat, or Rattus rattus, is a long-tailed rodent that belongs to the Rattus subfamily. It is known by a variety of names, including the ship rat, the roof rat, and the house rat.

It is currently discovered in every part of the world, despite the fact that its beginnings are a mystery. The underside of the black rat is a little lighter shade of brown than the rest of its body.

If you have ever attended a course on world history, you have most likely been exposed to accounts of the bubonic plague, also known as “The Black Death.”

The roof rat is the culprit behind this disastrous pandemic that was responsible for the deaths of 25 million people. At least in certain respects.

Researchers have determined that fleas carried by black rats (also known as roof rat) are responsible for spreading the plague germs.


Read also: Getting Rid Rats and Mice With Baits


Roof Rat Diets

Although they mostly feed at dusk and again just before dawn, roof rats will also scavenge multiple times throughout the night and throughout the day.

Roof rat in particular is known to be food hoarders, which means that they have been observed concealing stockpiles of food, such as nuts and seeds, in various locations.

When they dine, they like to be in a secluded or concealed location if they can help it.

Roof rat are omnivores, meaning they are prepared to consume almost any food that is put in front of them. When it is the right time of year, however, their favorite foods are fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds.

In addition to that, they will consume slugs and snails, which may come to make up a significant portion of their diet. Insects, such as the American and brown cockroaches, are another favorite food of roof rat.

They will consume fish, shellfish, and a variety of other aquatic species if they reside in close proximity to bodies of water.


Read also: How to Keep Rats and Mice Out of your Garage


Roof Rat Behavior

Roof Rat

For example, home ranges in the southern beech woods of the South Island, New Zealand appear to be substantially bigger than the non-beech forests of the North Island.

Due to the limited number of rats that are researched in home range investigations, the estimated sizes of rat home ranges in different rat demographic groups are unclear.

During the winter, male and female rats are assumed to have similar-sized home ranges, but during the breeding season, male rats expand their home ranges.

The black rat’s home range varies not only by sex but also by the type of forest it lives in, as well.

When it comes to the behavior of roof rats, they are however distinct behaviors, thus we have made time to put them into this text for a better view and knowledge of roof rats.


Pasturing Behavior

The behavior of the black rat when it comes to feeding shows some versatility. It is a species that feeds on other organisms and can adapt to a variety of diverse microhabitats.

It is common for individuals of the same or different sexes to come together and search for food in close quarters.

It tends to forage after dusk. In the event that the meal cannot be consumed immediately, it looks for a location to carry it and store it so that it can consume at a later time.

Although it consumes a wide variety of foods, it has a very selective diet; just a small subset of the things it consumes is very important to its survival.


Nesting Behavior

The brown rat, also known as the Norway rat, likes to nest close to the ground inside of a structure, while the black rat will choose to nest on the upper floors or the roof. As a result of this behavior, the black rat is also known as the roof rat.

This behavior may be the result of the dispersion of the available refuges for rats to seek shelter from their enemies, as well as the amount of food they eat.


Read also: How to Get Rid of Rats in House Fast and Effective Ways


Predators To Roof Rat

The black rat is prey to cats and owls in home environments. In less urban areas, rats are preyed on by weasels, foxes, and coyotes.

These predators have minimal influence on the control of the black rat population because black rats are agile and rapid climbers.

The roof rat uses its great hearing and agility to dodge predators both large and small, including mammals and birds.


Life Span of Roof Rat

The average rat in the wild will live for roughly one year, with female rats often outliving the males, but in conservation or when kept as a pet is four years.

The roof rat lifespan may be decreased by predation. Vehicles, domestic cats and dogs, raptors and owls, coyotes, foxes, weasels, and snakes are all common predators of roof rats.

However, most times for black rat, death often occurs owing to numerous pest management procedures. This includes the usage of traps, baits, and other means of rat control.


Diseases caused by Roof Rat

There are a number of diseases that can be transmitted by roof rats, the most well-known of which are bubonic plague (which is transmitted by the Oriental rat flea), typhus, Weil’s disease, toxoplasmosis, and trichinosis.

There is a theory that the replacement of black rats with brown rats led to a decrease in the number of people who died from the Black Death.


Global Damages caused by Roof Rat

Following the introduction of the roof rat to the northern islands of New Zealand, these rodents began feeding on the seedlings, which had a negative impact on the ecosystem of the islands.

Even once the roof rat population is eliminated, it may take decades for the damage it caused to be undone. These rats bring about a decrease in the pH of the soil as a result of their consumption of seabirds and the eggs of seabirds.

This reduces the availability of nutrients in the soil, which is harmful to plant species.


Signs of Roof Rat Infestation

Symptoms that may point to the presence of roof rats in a building. In and around the building, one of the things that you should look for is the presence of rat droppings.

The size of the droppings ranges from 12 to 13 millimeters, and they culminate in a point. If they are fresh, they will be pliable and wet; if they are older, they will be tough and dry.

Any trace of droppings shows the existence of rodents, which necessitates a visit from an exterminator even if it is a different variety of rodents than what was originally thought to be the culprit.

Roof rats can inflict a large amount of damage to a property, and the symptoms of such damage are a good signal that roof rats are present on the property. Roof rats can also cause serious health problems for humans.

Keep an eye out for gnaw marks and nests on your property. Gnaw marks are a sign that a colony may be there. Nests are another indication that a colony may be present.


How to Get Rid of Roof Rat

There are a variety of methods that have been shown to be successful in removing roof rats, and these methods have been provided to us by science, in-depth research, and practical experience. These methods can be found in the following paragraphs.

The following is a list of methods that are effective in getting rid of roof rats, all of which are inexpensive and simple to carry out.


1. Block Entryways

Make sure that all of your windows and vents are screened, as this will prevent roof rats from establishing a nest inside your home.


2. Trim your Trees

Rats and mice can climb the trees to reach the roof, thus the branches need to be trimmed back. Cut back any tree branches that could potentially allow entrance.

3. Using of Bait

Baiting is a critical component of trapping these pests, and the appropriate bait makes it simple to tempt them. Roof rats require a different diet than other varieties of rats, so you should use any of the following for bait:

  • Dried fruit (best) (best)
  • Berries
  • Other nesting materials, such as dental floss
  • Insects
  • Snail shells

Rats are frequently highly suspicious of new food sources sprouting up in their surroundings. To draw them to the trap, bait it without setting it for a few days so the rats begin to accept it as a secure and reliable food source.


4. Using Snap Traps

Although using snap traps to catch rats may seem like an outdated method, this type of trap is still quite efficient.

A metal bar that snaps down on the rat and kills it is contained within these traps. Because one rat is caught and killed by each trap, you will need to place multiple traps in order to significantly reduce the rat population.


5. Placing Glue Traps

Rats might fall victim to traps made of glue as well. Glue traps are simple to use because they do not require any baiting or setting on the user’s part.

Simply place glue traps along the wall in the areas where rats are most likely to move.



Finally, you’ve reached the end of this article on roof rats, which has provided you with a wealth of interesting, entertaining, educational, and informing information.

After having gone through the facts, diet, habitat, lifespan, and how to get rid of roof rats, if you have any queries, contributions, further explanations, or comments on this topic, kindly let us know in the comment box.

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