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Roof Rats

Roof rat or black rat is more commonly encountered in buildings.These rats are excellent climbers and often nest in attics, wall voids, and hollow trees.

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Roof rat

Roof rat is also 13-18 1/2 inches total length, with its tail being longer than its head and body combined. An adult roof rat weighs about 3/4 to 2/3 pound. It is mostly black with some gray below, although there are some variations. The tail is also semi-naked, but of one color.

Roof rats are tree-living by nature. They are similar to squirrels in their ability to move through trees and along vines and wires. They often use utility lines and tree branches to reach food and water and to enter buildings. They prefer nesting above the ground in attics, soffits, piles of debris, hollow trees, skirts of old fronds on palm trees, and in Quaker parrot nests, but will nest in burrows in canal banks and under sidewalks or stacks of materials stored on the ground.

They feed on most cultivated fruits and eat many native fruits and nuts. They also feed on livestock feed, pet food, bird seed in feeders and garbage. They contaminate and damage much more than they actually eat. They will chew through lead and plastic pipes to reach water. They will travel 150yds. (135m.) from their den to reach food or water.

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Roof rat Puppies

Roof rats generally begin searching for food shortly after sunset. These rats may cache or hoard considerable amounts of solid food, which they will eat later. These food caches may be located in attics, in dense vegetation such as hedges, or in a variety of other hiding places generally near their nests.

Life Cycle: Roof rats breed throughout the year, with two peaks of production — in February and March and again in May and June. The period of least activity is in July and August. The gestation period is approximately 21 days, and the number of young per litter averages almost seven. The young rats at birth are naked, blind, and nearly helpless.

They mature rather rapidly, are weaned when about 3 weeks old, and are able to reproduce when approximately 3 months old. young females with a head and body length of 125 mm were sexually mature. Like the Norway rat, the roof rat is destructive to property and foodstuffs.

prevent infestations: Keep garbage containers tightly covered.Store bulk foods in sealed, rat-proof container. Do not leave pet food out, especially overnight.Promptly pick up any fallen fruit from citrus trees, etc.

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Roof rat Mark

Disease: Roof rat transmission of such human diseases as endemic typhus, ratbite fever, and bubonic plague.

Control:Effective methods of roof rat control include exclusion, habitat modification, trapping, and poison bait. These are described below. The use of traps and/or poison baits can effectively provide short-term control of an existing roof rat problem, but using the methods of exclusion and habitat modification described in this publication can provide effective, long-term control by preventing roof rat infestation. Since the control of roof rats often involves some safety risks (the use of ladders, tools, toxic materials, etc.) as well as knowledge of roof rat behavior, the services of a private wildlife or pest control operator may be a viable option to a do-it-yourself approach.

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