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What You Need to Know about Roof Rats

Yes, you read that right – roof rats. Roof rats are really something you should be worried about. They’re annoying, they’re destructive and they can even pose a danger to your health. So, what are roof rats and how can you wage an effective war against them? Read on to find out!

What is a Roof Rat?

Roof rats are pretty much exactly what you think they are: Rats that live in the trees and shrubs of your neighborhood that find their way inside your home. They’re black rats and can be identified by their long, scaly tales (that can be longer than their bodies) and large ears. They like to live off of the ground, in trees and shrubs and also in attics. It’s pretty much the stuff of nightmares.

As with most other rats, they move quickly and are easily introduced to new areas. You don’t want them to take up residence in your home, so there are a few things you need to know.

Keep Roof Rats Out

How do you keep roof rats away from your home? Well, there are some easy things you can do. First, don’t create an environment hospitable to them. You should:

  • Take away their food source – One of the best ways to keep roof rats out is by taking away their food supply. If you have citrus fruit trees make sure to pick the fruit and clean it up, even if it’s not ripe. Also, don’t leave pet food out overnight, or you’ll have more than just your cat or dog munching on it and keep any food you buy in bulk, such as pet food, in sealed containers. Make sure not to keep a bunch of bird feeders fully stocked around your property either, while also keeping garbage covered tightly.
  • Keep your yard clean – Remove debris from under your trees and shrubs and make sure your trees, especially fruit trees, are pruned so the ground is visible. Don’t keep brush piles on your property or wood, but if you need wood or lumber keep it off the ground at least 18 inches.
  • Seal up your home – Rodents can find their way into your home through very tiny spaces, no larger than a nickel, so keep your home sealed up tight and seal holes and vents with caulk or diamond mesh. Also, check for gaps anywhere pipes lead into your home, such as through washers, dryers, dishwashers, sinks or water heaters.
  • Trap them strategically – You can set up traps for them using peanut butter in places they frequent such as sheds or laundry rooms, but keep traps away from places where pets or small children can get to them. Don’t move the traps around a lot either, because roof rats will not go near unfamiliar things. Leave them in place for a week or more before moving them.
  • Place poison with care – Make sure you place poison in bait stations where rats can get to them but other wildlife can’t. Also, seal up the house before putting bait outside, unless you want to run the risk of a rat dying in your home and leaving a rather unpleasant odor.

If you have questions or concerns about roof rats, call the experts at Green Army today!

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