As a Durham homeowner, you may have encountered roof rats on your property in the past. These enterprising and intelligent creatures get their name from their ability to reach the roof of almost any building due to their excellent climbing ability. At Skedaddle, we offer not only roof rat removal but also a few interesting facts about these rodents that may better help you understand their behaviour.
1. They Have Several Names
While these rodents are usually known as roof rats throughout Ontario, they are also known by several other nicknames as well. You may hear several different names depending on when and where you see a roof rat, including:
- Black rat
- House rat
- Ship rat
As the name suggests, these rats are often found in a variety of places. Despite the many names, you can recognize roof rats by their large ears, smooth fur and an elongated muzzle. Their colours can also vary from a mixed brown/black to grey, and if you discover them travelling along the roof or in your attic, you can almost be sure they are roof rats.
2. They Nest In a Variety of Places
Roof rats typically nest in family groups that consist of multiple females, their pups and several dominant males who mate with most or all of the females present in the pack. Roof rats prefer to nest off the ground but in areas where trees are scarce, they will make their homes in heavy vegetation or in outdoor clutter or trash piles.
When roof rats find their way into your home, they usually set up their colonies in your attic or behind the walls. You may be altered to their presence by their scratching, especially at night. Like most rodents, they will chew up any soft material they find for bedding, including old clothing, paper and cardboard. They may also gnaw on wiring and tear up insulation, which can damage your home over time, especially when the size of the colony increases.
3. They Have a Short Lifespan
While roof rats are prolific and can create large colonies in a short time because of the multiple females present, most have a brief lifespan that lasts about 12 or 13 months. Males may experience a shorter life because they fight with other rats over the right to mate. While not all of these fights are to the death, some may become injured and therefore more vulnerable to predators.
Roof rats have a variety of enemies including dogs, cats, large birds such as hawks and of course humans. If you find roof rats in your home, it is a wise idea to call us for wildlife control in Durham, as they can pose some danger to people and pets in defence of their colony.
4. Their Bite Can Be Dangerous
While roof rats are not openly aggressive to those who might pass by or happen on a colony and do not disturb them, trying to remove or relocate a colony may result in a focused attack on the intruder. These rats may bite, scratch or chase you, especially in defence of their young. Bites or scratches can carry bacteria or become infected, which is why calling in our rodent removal technicians is usually the better choice than trying to handle the problem on your own.
Once our technicians arrive, they will humanely remove live rats, and their nesting material and then seal any openings on your roof or attic that allowed the rodents in. They can also offer you advice about how to keep them away in the future, such as trimming back any tree branches that overhang your roof.
Encountering roof rats in your Durham home can be a frightening experience, but you do not have to face removal solutions alone. Contact us today for assistance and peace of mind when it comes to saying so long to these unwanted guests.