How to Identify Roof Rats

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When roof rats infest your home they are not easy to get rid of. It can be a lengthy and unwelcome process. Fortunately, is your one stop for organized know-how to rid your home of these pesky pests. The best defense is a good offense – roof rat proofing.


Roof rats are 2-4 times the size of mice

If you are unsure of the type of rodent that your home is harboring, keep reading. Roof rats are dark blackish brown and are generally found in high up places, like your attic. Other rodents such as Norway rats and house mice are usually found in different locations. Norway rats (also known as sewer rats) are larger rats that are light brown in color. Unlike the roof rat, Norway rats are not great climbers so you will usually find them in your basement or lower areas of the home. The house mouse is light brownish-grey in color and characteristically smaller than the roof rat. Usually, house mice can be found in cupboards, cabinets, and corners.



Look for hollowed-out fruit and vegetables

Signs of roof rats in your yard include spotting hollowed out fruits. Fruit with small holes in them are usually from birds or bugs. If the entire fruit is hollowed out and sucked dry, it’s likely from a roof rat. Some fruit trees common to Arizona include: Lemon, Lime, Orange, Grapefruit and others.

You’ll hear roof rats running in the walls and in your attic space

Mature rats can be heard as they scurry through your walls and ceiling. Roof rat pups make ongoing squeaking sounds which can easily be heard through your walls.

Roof rat droppings are long and cylindrical

A single roof rat can produce 40 to 50 droppings in a single day. The droppings are ½ inch long are pointed at both ends, making a sausage shape. Fresh droppings are brown in color. After about 3 days they become dry and crack and turn light brownish-grey.

How to get rid of roof rats

Roof rats stink, especially if they’re dead

The average lifespan of a roof rat is about 1 year. So even if you unknowingly have roof rats and aren’t actively trying to get rid of them, know that these unclean, dirty creatures have a short lifespan anyway. Be on the lookout for any deceased rats and dispose of them quickly and properly. The odor of a decomposing roof rat is an unpleasant surprise at best.

If you’re out past dark, you might spot them on walls, power lines, and roofs

Unlike some rodents that live in the ground, roof rats live in trees, roofs, and attics. To access these areas, Roof Rats climb up tree trunks, tree branches, power lines, and rooflines, much like squirrels. Roof rats are nocturnal, but still come out in the light of day occasionally.


What do Roof Rats eat?