Where do roof rats live?
Roof rats are named based off of where they live. They live in your roof! Or at least close to it. The roof of your home is almost always the point of entry for roof rats. They crawl through small holes surrounding duct work, ventilation, chimneys, and roof work. Once inside, they occupy small, dark, abandoned, high up areas. Including spaces such as attics, false ceilings, ceilings, and crawl spaces. Roof rats stay in theses areas because the heating of your home rises and keeps them warm. They enjoy laundry rooms and bathrooms because these rooms are especially warm. However, the kitchen is also a target because that is where the food and trash are kept.
When it comes to your yard, the cover of tall closely placed, dense trees with large connected canopies make the perfect roof rat hideout. Roof rats enjoy the cover of tall bushy palm trees of all varieties as well as oleander bushes. Oleander bushes are poisonous to humans and most house pets, but are nearly harmless to rodents. Roof rats like to be where the food is, so they also live near trash cans, pet food, and bird feeders. Roof rats are known for their excellent climbing abilities; however, they can swim. So they can also occupy pool and patio areas as well.
Where else do roof rats live?
Roof rats can be found throughout North America. Especially along the West Coast, Southwest, and Southern border of the United States. In Arizona, known sightings have been made in the Arcadia district, Chandler, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Tempe, as well as others throughout Maricopa County. Roof rats are homebodies. Once nested inside your home, most never travel more than 300 feet outside the nest. Roof rats depend on small contained areas (like your attic) to live and nest. In the wild, they last about 2-3 days before being hunted down by predators.
How do I know it’s a roof rat?
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.