How Do Roof Rats Most Commonly Get Into Your Home?

As its name advertises, the roof rat is a good climber. Bearing a striking resemblance to the Norway rat but smaller and slimmer, roof rats prefer high areas. It can often be found nesting up in the eaves of structures. The species is also drawn to attics as well as the roofs that give them their name. This rat’s fondness for fruit has also named it the “citrus rat” or “tree rat.” Because of its secretive nature, you may not be aware of this rat’s presence unless you have an infestation. Rodent droppings in eaves and attics or mysterious stored piles of fruit and other food are good signs of a problem. In addition to being champion climbers, roof rats are very good at inserting themselves through tiny openings that are roughly the size of a quarter. A home’s roof can offer multiple entry points into the house itself, especially where the roof meets eaves. This rat is also adept at entering a home through wall vents, such as laundry room vents.

How Do They Get In After Recent Roof Work?

Roof rats are very attuned to any changes or opportunities they see in roofs. This includes not only openings created by damaged roofing, but chances offered by the installation of new shingles, caulking, vents, or screening. To keep these pesky critters (as well as mice and squirrels) from taking advantage of temporary openings created by construction, have workers cover all exposed areas and openings daily. New construction should be replaced with “chew proof” materials only, and have “gnawless” screening installed over vents and other openings as needed.

What Are The First Steps To Keep Roof Rats Out?

Roof rats are drawn to homes that have trees or large shrubs in fairly close proximity to them. This vegetation offers hiding places, a “ladder” for climbing into homes, and often a source of food all in one. Other nuisance wildlife is equally thrilled about homes with lots of nearby vegetation. So to prevent animal invasions, situate new woody plantings at least 500 feet from a dwelling. These rats are excited about certain kinds of non woody plants like oleander that provide ground cover. Avoid cultivating these species in close proximity to homes. Try wrapping metal sheeting around the trunks of trees and shrubs to prevent animals from climbing them. Don’t store firewood, wooden poles, piles of masonry, or equipment against buildings. Screen over all vents, and inspect buildings regularly for gaps and holes and repair them. Have building roofs inspected at least annually by professionals.

How Do You Keep Roof Rats From Returning?

Old school methods of poisoning and trapping are not only cruel; they’re often ineffective and can also endanger vulnerable household members such as children and pets. Leaving such methods in place in anticipation of infestation can not only be hazardous, but are no guarantee of deterring rats. So what’s the best way of pulling in the rat welcome mat? By working with companies that remove animals professionally homeowners can:

  • Find and permanently seal off entry points into houses
  • Remove “attractive nuisances” that keep pests returning to properties
  • Avoid animals dying in inaccessible places in homes

Winter is coming for us all, and now is the time of year that rats and other nuisance wildlife want to make your cozy home theirs. If nature has made an uninvited move into your residence, call for a consultation to see about keeping rats out of your home and your life.