How to Prevent a Roof Rat Infestation in Florida Homes

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Roof rats bring a lot of problems everywhere they go. They can invade your Florida home any time of year, and removing them can be a real pain. Let’s take a close look at this common problem for Florida house owners. We’ll provide you with useful tips to remove Florida roof rats from your home and keep them away for good. 

Most Significant Signs of a Roof Rat Infestation

Prevention is the best way to protect your roof from animals. However, this may be a bit tougher when it comes to rats. This is because these rodents are nocturnal creatures who like to nest and stay away from heavy foot traffic. With that in mind, even if you don’t see any rats, it doesn’t mean that your roof isn’t crawling with them. 

Noticing the signs of a roof rat infestation will allow you to act promptly and make it easier for you to get rid of the problem. Here are the most significant signs that your roof has been overtaken by rats, starting with the most obvious clue:

  • Rat droppings
  • Scratching noises in the walls or attic
  • Visible gnaw marks around the roof
  • Damage to electrical wires in your household
  • Nests between your walls or in the attic

Once up there, rats can overpopulate quickly, especially if you have a poorly-maintained attic. In warm regions, roof rats have a year-round breeding cycle and can have up to three litters a year. Seeing that one female can have a litter of up to eight babies, that’s a lot of rats over only one year.

Are Roof Rats Dangerous?

Unlike “regular” rats, roof rats are good climbers and tend to nest up high. They use tree branches, power lines, and any vines or cables they can find to reach your roof and attic. They can even climb up through your roof vent pipe. 

Once up there, they can wreak serious havoc and cause costly damage to your home. Roof rats often go for electrical wires and even your home’s insulation. Plus, if you have an attic filled with boxes or furniture, they’ll be more than happy to take a bite out of those. Since rats have many predators, they’ll also be inviting bigger, potentially more dangerous animals into your attic and roofing structure.

The damage isn’t only contained to your property, as roof rats are known carriers of many diseases. Roof rats can spread salmonella, trichinosis, and even life-threatening diseases like the Hantavirus and the plague. All of this is why you should get rid of them as soon as you notice any signs. This brings us to the next topic.

How to Get Rid of Roof Rats

Getting rid of rats on your own is more complicated than hiring a professional to take care of the problem. That said, there are some things you can do to mitigate the damage and prevent rats from taking over your attic. We’ll walk you through all of the steps.

Inspect Your Home for Signs

The first step to determine whether you have a roof rat problem is to go up in your attic and look for any of the signs we talked about earlier in the post. If you don’t find anything, pay attention to any sounds you hear at night because you might hear rats scurrying around.

Block Rat Entry Points

After you’ve inspected your roof in great detail, you’ve most likely found at least a couple of possible entry points. Are there missing shingles or holes in your roof underlayment? Do you have any gnawed holes through your insulation? It’s crucial to seal even the smallest cracks and holes, as the rats can crawl through the tiniest openings.

Set Traps

After you’ve inspected your roof, found main entry points, and blocked them, it’s time to set traps. Rats can be tough to trap, but there are several useful options on how to get rid of them:

  • Baiting Traps — Setting baiting traps with dried fruit, nuts, or berries is a very effective way of getting rid of rats. Just note that rats are very cautious, especially when a new source of food comes from nowhere. Because of this, you should bait the trap without setting it so that the rats come to trust it as a safe source of food.
  • Electronic Traps — A modern, humane and non-toxic way of getting rid of roof rats, these devices are easy to set. Electronic traps use a high-voltage shock to kill the rat instantly. They are reusable, and the rat is easily disposable, so there’s no mess. What’s also important is that they are safe to use around kids and pets.
  • Snap Traps — These traps seem like an antiquated way of getting rid of rats. However, they are still one of the most effective ways of doing so. Each trap can only kill one rat at a time before you clean or replace it, so you’ll need to set several traps if you have a more severe infestation problem.
  • Ultrasonic devices — If you’re looking for a humane way of keeping roof rats out, ultrasonic devices are the best way to go about it. They emit high-frequency sounds that deter all rodents without bothering humans and most household pets. That said, if you have any pet hamsters or guinea pigs in your home, you need to move them far from the device so as not to bother them.

Need Help Getting Rid of Roof Rats?

Roof rats are a widespread problem in Florida households. If you’ve noticed any of the signs mentioned above, don’t wait to deal with the situation. The tips we shared with you above will help you resolve a pesky roof rat infestation in Florida. However, if dealing with this issue seems overwhelming, reach out to a trusted professional to get rid of these pests for good. 

Contact us today at 813-373-9088 help inspecting your roof for signs of damage or possible entry points for roof rats that need fixing. 

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