If you’ve been a long-time resident of the Jacksonville area, odds are you’ve encountered a roof rat. Roof rats eat fruits and vegetables commonly found in home gardens and enter homes in search of cozy shelter to build their nests. Homeowners have to stay alert to the dangers of roof rats in Jacksonville, and they need to understand the best ways to keep them at bay.
Whether you’ve been in Jacksonville for 10 years or 10 days, it’s of utmost importance to stay on the lookout for signs of roof rats and to take careful precautions to keep your property clear of these troublesome pests.
What Are Roof Rats?
Roof rats differ from typical house rats (otherwise known as Norway rats) in a few ways:
• Roof rats have lighter-colored bellies than the rest of their bodies, while the Norway rat is typically one uniform color.
• Roof rats have longer tails, giving them supreme balance across roof tiles and power lines.
• The ears of roof rats are large and floppy, as opposed to the Norway rat’s small, pointed ears.
• Roof rats have pointed muzzles, while the Norway rats’ are rounded.
• Norway rats prefer living in garbage dumps, sheds, and farms, while roof rats typically live in higher-up habitats such as vine-covered fences, trees, and attics.
Roof rats prefer to find their food outside, unlike the interior-scavenging Norway rat. However, roof rats like to nest inside attics and then leave to find food – sometimes traveling miles in their search before returning to the nest. Their agility and speed enable them to find food elsewhere at night and quickly return to your home for the daytime.
How to Control Roof Rats
Like most rodents, roof rats become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. They will bite and scratch to escape being caught and can spread dangerous diseases like rat-bite fever. Their urine and feces can spread diseases and contaminate household food. To keep the rampant roof rats at bay, call Critter Control of Jacksonville at 904.221.8633 to inspect your home for entry points and exclude any existing roof rats.