Florida roof rats, scientifically referred to as “Rattus rattus,” are one of the most common pests in the state. They are infamous for being the species that brought the bubonic plague over from Europe. Current diseases that they may carry include salmonella and rat-bite fever. Humans who contract these illnesses typically get them from a contaminated food supply.
These animals depend on humans to survive, making homes out of attics and roofs for the most part. Their nickname—citrus rats—comes from their love of citrusy fruits such as melons and papaya. Other food items that interest them include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Animal droppings
In search of food, roof rats will often break into homes by chewing through wires, walls, pipes, and other types of barriers. They are nocturnal, making it harder for many homeowners in Florida to catch them. You can identify a roof rat by its distinct tail, which is hairless and much longer than that of a common rat.
Since the rats move about at nighttime, you may not ever see any in person. In that case, be proactive and look for some of these tell-tale signs of an infestation:
- Rat droppings with pointy endings
- Holes in consumable food products
- Nest shavings and remnants
- Grease markings along walls
- Teeth marks on areas such as baseboards, window trim, and stairs
Do not panic if you suspect an infestation of Florida roof rats, as there are a few ways to deal with them. The main priority is to address the problem quickly because ignoring it for too long can lead to significant damage down the road.
Getting Rid of Florida Roof Rats
Like many other rats, citrus rats have very sharp teeth. They often chew through both metal and plastic pipes, irrigation lines, walls, and wires just to find a place to build a nest. This means that when you have an infestation, you may end up dealing with multiple issues at once.
DIY Rat Removal
If you hear roof rats during the daytime, there could be a sizeable amount of them to deal with. To address the issue on your own, you first need to find where the rats are coming into the house. This can be difficult, as they are small creatures and do not need a very large point of entry.
You want to cover up any holes in the exterior of your home so that no additional rats can come inside. Next, you need to set out traps to get rid of the rats. However, depending on the size of the infestation, traps might not be an effective solution. If the number of rats is truly excessive, setting out traps will not work and you will need help from an experienced pest control specialist.
Hire a Professional to Get Rid of Florida Roof Rats
When it comes to rat removal, hiring a professional is the best option. Rodent experts can tell you the extent of the problem. They are also able to track down nests that you might not find on your own.
If your traps have not solved the problem, call an expert to assess the infestation. Find someone with demonstrated experience in this area if you can. They will have the equipment, time, and knowledge necessary to remove a large number of roof rats from your home.
With the help of professional exterminators, you can be more confident that all the Florida roof rats are gone before calling on The Roof Guys to fix any damage to the top of your home.