Georgia is a beautiful state, with a diverse range of attractions for home and building owners, but it also has its fair share of challenges. One such problem that many homeowners face is the pesky presence of roof rats. Georgia’s unique geographical properties make it an ideal habitat for these rodents, and once they infest your home they can be tough to manage and trap.
But fear not! We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide on dealing with roof rat infestations. Keep reading to the end to learn how to tackle this issue effectively.
What are Roof Rats?
Roof rats, as their name suggests, are found mainly in high places such as roofs and trees. Capable of climbing and squeezing into spaces as small as half of an inch, they can invade homes and buildings.
Although roof rats may seem cute with their cheerful chirps and amusing antics, they can cause significant problems for homeowners. These rodents infiltrate buildings through various entry points such as small gaps and holes in the roof, walls, and other vulnerable areas. With their ability to reproduce rapidly, they quickly infest a home, turning your roof into their personal living space.
Roof rats are typically 8-9 inches long, not including their scaly tail. With tails longer than their bodies, these rats can measure up to 40 inches in total length. Due to their elongated tails, roof rats may appear larger than Norway rats, but Norway rats are still larger.
Roof rat droppings, which are usually about ½ inch long, are soft and moist when fresh but become hard and dry as they age. These droppings can contaminate household materials and food items, rendering them unsafe for consumption.
Roofs in Georgia are Susceptible to Roof Rat Infestation
Georgia is susceptible to roof rat infestations due to several factors. First, the climate in Georgia, with its warm temperatures and mild winters, provides favorable conditions for roof rats to thrive and reproduce throughout the year. Second, the geography of Georgia, with its urban areas, provides plenty of hiding places and food sources for roof rats to invade homes and buildings. Roof rats are known to enter homes through small gaps or cracks in roofs, walls, or the foundation, making them particularly adept at exploiting urban environments.
Signs of Roof Rat Infestation
While you may be able to physically see roof rats, below are some other signs you need to look for when checking for a roof rat infestation.
Roof rat droppings are small, dark, and pellet-like, resembling raisins. If there are roof rats in your home or business, you will find their droppings in areas such as the attic, roof, or crawl space. Droppings in these areas are a clear indication of roof rat activity.
Roof rats constantly gnaw on things to keep their teeth sharp. If you find gnaw marks on wood, wires, insulation, or other materials in and around your home this is a clear indicator that you may have a roof rat infestation.
Roof rats tend to construct their nests in concealed locations like attics or crawl spaces, using materials such as shredded insulation or paper. If you discover nests or signs of nesting activity, such as torn materials or nesting debris, this could be an indication of a roof rat infestation.
Roof rats are nocturnal creatures known to make scratching, scampering, or squeaking sounds, especially at night. Hearing these noises in your home, particularly in the attic or walls, may indicate the presence of roof rats.
Roof rats are notorious for contaminating food in pantries, and cabinets. Look for food packaging with holes gnawed into the bottom or side, along with droppings in your food storage area.
Dangers of Roof Rat Infestation in Homes
Roof and Property Damage:
Roof rats can cause considerable damage to the roof of your home as they seek entry points and create nesting areas. These rodents are known for their adept climbing abilities and can easily access your roof by scaling trees, walls, or utility lines. Once on the roof, they may gnaw through shingles, vents, or other materials to enter your attic. Since they create nests, they often tear apart insulation, wiring, and even structural components like beams or rafters, which can weaken your roof’s overall integrity. This damage can lead to leaks, reduced energy efficiency, and potential structural failures. Moreover, their constant gnawing on electrical wiring may pose a risk of fire hazards, further endangering the safety of your home and its occupants.
Roof rats have the potential to transmit diseases to humans via their urine, droppings, saliva, and bites. Additionally, their gnawing habits can contribute to the spread of illnesses such as leptospirosis, hantavirus, salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever. These health concerns pose significant risks to homeowners, particularly if the infestation is not dealt with in a timely manner.
A roof rat infestation can also cause psychological distress to homeowners and occupants, leading to stress, anxiety, and fear. The constant noise, property damage, and health risks associated with a roof rat infestation can significantly impact the mental well-being of individuals.
Preventing Roof Rat Infestations
Seal Entry Points
To prevent roof rats from invading your home, look for openings in walls, doors, windows, screens, and vents. As they can squeeze through tiny holes, blocking and sealing all the visible entry points on your roof and around your home is a good way to keep them away from your home. You can use weather stripping, caulk, or another suitable sealant.
Keep Your Home Clean
Keeping your home clean is an effective way to prevent roof rat infestations. By regularly disposing of garbage, sealing food containers, and cleaning up crumbs or spills, you can eliminate easily accessible food sources that attract these rodents. Additionally, maintaining a clutter-free environment, especially in areas such as attics and basements, can reduce potential nesting sites.
Trim Trees and Vegetation
Roof rats are excellent climbers and can use trees, shrubs, and vegetation to access your home. Trim branches that hang over your roof or come in contact with your home to eliminate potential access points for roof rats.
Managing Roof Rat Infestations
If roof rats have already infested your home, there is no other way of managing them than the following.
Trapping and Baiting
Rat traps and rat baits are two distinct approaches to controlling rat populations, each with its advantages and limitations.
Rat traps are designed to capture or kill rats physically. There are several types of rat traps, including snap traps, live traps, and electronic traps. Snap traps are designed to kill the rat instantly, while live traps capture the rat without causing harm and allow for humane relocation. Electronic traps, on the other hand, use electric shocks to kill rats quickly and efficiently. Traps are generally considered a more immediate solution and can be used to monitor the effectiveness of your rat control efforts.
Baits, on the other hand, are poisonous substances used to attract and kill rats through ingestion. The bait is usually placed inside a bait station, which is a tamper-resistant container designed to keep pets and small children from accessing the toxic substance. Rat baits often contain rodenticides, which may take several days to kill the rat after consumption. Baits may be a slower solution but can be more effective in controlling large infestations.
Regular Monitoring and Maintenance
Regular monitoring and maintenance are essential to prevent future roof rat infestations. This includes conducting regular inspections of your home, sealing any new potential entry points, removing food and water sources, and keeping your home and yard clean and clutter-free.
Repair Roof Damage Caused by Roof Rats
Roof rats are experienced climbers that can access your home through trees and vegetation, often targeting your roof as a point of entry and creating havoc in your attic. Addressing the damage caused by these persistent pests can be a daunting task. However, you don’t have to face this challenge alone. If your home has suffered damage due to a roof rat infestation in Georgia, don’t hesitate to contact Division Kangaroof. Our team of experts is ready to assist you with roof inspections and repair services, ensuring that your home is secure and protected from future invasions. Give us a call at (706)-778-3516 for your roof inspection.