It is a known fact that roof rats can enter homes and other structures through the smallest of openings, whether these are doors and windows that are not fitted properly, air vents that are not in good working condition or screens; they will find a way of getting into the smallest spaces.
By taking a couple of steps to reduce gaps in windows and doors and other spots that are easily accessible, you are already putting steps in place to reduce the rat population in and around your surroundings.
Take these measures to reduce the rat population:
- Seal all openings that are more than a cm with wood, mesh, caulk or similar
- Fit all doors and screens tightly or cover these with metal sheets
- Sewer pipes and drains should have covers that fit tightly to prevent access to these openings
A regular, thorough inspection is essential to gauge whether there are rats and mice is important. The signs to look out for are gnaw marks, droppings, grease marks, rat urine stains, live or dead rats and mice and the noises they make.
Once established, it is a good idea to then embark on a plan of action such as calling in pest control experts.
Look out for these signs for roof rats:
- Gnawing holes – these are usually about 4 cms in diameter and will have rough edges. Roof rats like to chew on wood but can also be the cause of electrical wire damage and damaging the packaging of foodstuffs
- Droppings – Roof rat droppings are usually about 6 mm to 12 mm in length, have a capsule shape with blunt edges and usually shiny and black in appearance although this largely depends on what the rats eat. Rat droppings are in the region of about 3 x the size of that of mouse droppings
- Sighting and hearing rats – rodents are nocturnal creatures, therefore, if sighted during the daytime it means the infestation is severe
- Urine stains & odours – these appear as a line of fine drops or streaks that can be spotted under ultraviolet lights or black light tool
- Tracks – the runways of roof rats are smooth and impacted outdoors, plus they are vegetation-free. Furthermore, roof rats leave a hind foot track plus they drag their tails which leave a trail between their foot tracks.
- Grease marks – these usually appear along the walls next to the runways
While you are preventing future rat population growth through inspection, sanitation, and exclusion, you will also want to begin working towards the complete elimination of the population that is already present through the use of a professional pest control company.