The Houston pest control professionals at Holder’s Pest Solutions would like to discuss a pest you don’t hear much about (but is very common): the roof rat. The rats in Texas that we encounter include the Norway rat, the Yellow-nosed cotton rat, the hispid cotton rat and the tawny-bellied cotton rat among others, but the roof rat is the most common in our service area. Here is some important information on these pests as well as tips to help you avoid them in your Houston home or business.
Roof rats are a medium sized rat with a body that is approximately 7 inches long and a tail that is often slightly longer than the body. They are usually blackish or brownish in color and they have a naked and scaly tail. These pests live in close association with humans, although they are found in nature as well. These rodents are known for inhabiting grocery stores, warehouses and grain storage facilities and although they may nest near the ground, they are known to frequent attics, rafters, crossbeams and other high areas of buildings. You can spot an infestation of these rodents by the signs they leave behind. Roof rats are known for:
- Leaving a dark-colored smear of grease and dirt to mark the areas they travel.
- Leaving droppings in areas where they feed; these droppings are long and cylindrical.
- Chewing to keep their incisors short; roof rats will damage plastic and lead pipes, door and window frames, upholstery and electrical wires.
- Making loud shuffling or squeaking noises in the walls or in attic spaces.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, you could very easily be dealing with a rodent problem. Although roof rats are known for living outside in wood and rock piles or in dense vegetation, it is not surprising to find them nesting inside homes and businesses as well. When they enter our homes, they damage our belongings with their gnawing and they are also capable of spreading diseases. Rodents like the roof rat may bite or may contaminate our food sources with their urine and feces. Indirectly, roof rats may transmit disease through the fleas that live on their bodies.
The best way to avoid the problems caused by rodents is to prevent them from entering your property in the first place. To do this, you must deny the things rodents need inside your home: a point of entry, a safe place to nest and a supply of food. You can make sure rodents don’t find these things in your home by taking these precautions:
- Eliminate all possible entry points by doing a careful and thorough examination of your home’s exterior. Block up any possible entry points with expandable foam and wire mesh.
- Eliminate access to food sources. Make sure food in your cupboards is stored in air-tight glass or heavy duty plastic containers and never leave food on the countertops. Good sanitation efforts can also prevent rodents from finding crumbs inside your home.
- Clean up the clutter to reduce possible nesting sites for rodents. Regularly remove recyclable items from your home and make sure all your stored belongings are in air-tight heavy duty plastic containers.
Although these tips aren’t foolproof, they will help reduce the chance of a rodent problem in your home or business.
For more information on how to get rid of rats in Texas, call the home pest control specialists at Holder’s Pest Solutions. Along with rodent control for the home, we can help your commercial facility as well, eliminating the pests that are present and providing solutions to keep these pests from returning.