The Antagonizing Ants

The Antagonizing Ants

How Californians Can Detect Roof Rats and Eliminate Them with Traps

by Megan Schmidt

The roof rat, also known as the black rat, is smaller than the brown rat, but can be just as damaging. The roof rat is not as widespread as the brown rat in the United States, and is only found in limited locations, such as the western part of California and coastal areas. If you have a roof rat problem, it's important to know how to successfully tackle this nuisance using the right pest control tactics.

Basics About Roof Rats

Roof rats actually have their origins in Asia, but have spread to many other parts o the world since then. These particular rats have a number of differences from the common brown rat. The roof rat is smaller and sleeker than the brown rat, and tends to weigh between 5 and 12 ounces, which is almost half the size of the standard brown rat. Their bellies tend to gray or white compared to the brown rat's mostly gray belly. Overall, the black rat also tends to have darker fur than the brown rat.

Detecting Roof Rats

Roof rats are nocturnal and often difficult to spot. However, if you spot rat droppings, hear noises in your walls or attic around dusk, or if you see rats outside your property near garbage or traveling on utility lines, you probably have a rat problem in your home. You may also spot rat nests on your property or in your home. If you happen to catch a glimpse of a rat, you can use the above information to help differentiate between black and brown rats.

While brown rats prefer basements and ground floors, roof rats are common in attics and higher floors. That's due to their agility and better climbing ability. Roof rats will often gnaw through structures, wiring and insulation to make nests, causing extensive property damage. They can also make shallow burrows in gardens and lawns, but the brown rat is considered a much more active burrowing rat. Black rats can also cause extensive agricultural damage if they aren't controlled.

Preventing Roof Rats

The best method for controlling rats is prevention. First, ensure your home is properly sanitized and food isn't left laying around. Ensure you seal trash, gutters, piping, cracks in the foundation, and replace any damaged window screens. You should also cover all rooftop vents and place a screen on your chimney. Essentially, you want to make sure rats can't slip into your property.

Trapping Rats

One of the most effective methods for eliminating roof rats is with traps. Roof rats tend to like citrus fruits, such as oranges or lemon rinds. However, feel free to bait your traps with bacon or pet kibble. Roof rats are also considered better at avoiding traps and bait, as they tend to exhibit an avoidance of new objects they aren't familiar, which is known as neophobia.

For roof rats, place your traps off the ground, such as on shelves, ledges, branches, fencing or overhead beams. The attic and inside the rafters of a garage are also excellent places. Essentially, roof rats like to be up high, and these are excellent areas to place a trap. There are many traps to choose from, all the way from electric traps to standard traps. Simply experiment with which one works best for you.

Ultimately, there are many methods for tackling roof rats, but trapping happens to be one of the most effective. If you plan on using rodenticides or more dangerous baits, you should contact a pest control specialist (such as Craig & Sons Termite & Pest Control) to ensure these are used in the proper manner.


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About Me

The Antagonizing Ants

Growing up, I lived in a home with a major ant problem. These pesky insects were especially bothersome during the driest months of summer. Without a moment’s notice, my parents, my sister, and I would find them crawling on our beds, our clothes, or our bodies. My father exhausted all means of eliminating the ants from our home. If you are dealing with a similar situation, don’t lose hope. An experienced pest control specialist can help you get rid of your antagonizing ants for good. This professional will investigate both the exterior and interior of your home in order to determine the proper solution for your problem. On this blog, you will learn the ways a pest control specialist can obliterate the ants on your property.