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Rats, Mice or Both Taking Up Residence In Your Home?

Do you have a rodent problem?  Trust me you are not alone.

Domestic rodents, also called commensal rodents, are three species of rats and mice that live in close contact with people. They are found almost everywhere that people live. 

They are more at home in warmer climates so are typically found in large numbers along the lower half of the East Coast and through the Southern states along with the Pacific Coast and Pacific Northwest. Why do you have them in your facility? There are several factors that could cause a roof rat problem and, if they aren’t rectified, these pests are going to cause you to lose product, profit and even customers.

Commensal rodents are also responsible for many diseases affecting people. 

The most important of these diseases are Murine typhus fever and plague. Rodents also transmit salmonellosis, trichinosis, leptospirosis and rat-bite fever. Beside being threats to human health rats distribute many diseases to pets, mange, equine influenza and mange to name but a few. 

Besides spreading diseases, rats and mice are also do extensive damage to personal property to include chewing electrical wires in your attic that could result in fires and electrical wiring in vehicles. Rats/Mice chew on wires in your attic to file their teeth down. Rats front teeth grow up to 5 inches per year so their is a need for them to be constantly gnawing. They must keep their front teeth filed down so they can eat. 

 

What To Look For In Your Attic

 

  • Runs in the insulation

  • Holes and tunnels in the insulation 

  • Droppings on the walk boards and in the insulation 

  • Chewed wires

  • Brown marks on wires

In the United States, rats cause between $500 million and $1 billion of damage to homes each year.

National Geographic Video 

Roof or Norway Rat? How to Identify Rats in the neighborhood.

Picture below is the Roof Rat. Here are some simple tips to help you identify what you caught in your trap.

 

A Roof rat's tail is usually longer than its head and body. When the tail is stretched over the back, it extends past the nose as I am showing in picture 1. The Norway rat's tail will not extend past the nose.

 

Roof rat's have a pointed muzzle (Picture 2) and a slim body. The Norway rat is heavier, stockier and has a blunt muzzle.

 

Roof rat ears are large and conspicuous; they can be folded down to cover the eyes as demonstrated in picture 3. Norway rats have much smaller ears. Like the ears, the Roof rat has large eyes whereas the Norway rat has much smaller.

 

Both species are "Domestic rodents" also called Commensal rodents and are found almost everywhere that people live. Rats must gnaw to keep the incisor teeth, which grow about five inches per year, short enough to be useful. They can gnaw through lead pipes, fresh concrete, soft and semi-hardened aluminum and other relatively hard materials. Long story short, their gnawing causes damage to homes and vehicles.

 

Roof rats are excellent climbers and are oftentimes found residing in attics. Norway rats burrow under foundations, walks, driveways and streets, often causing stress cracks and breaks. Both are excellent swimmers. The one pictures is smaller. Roof Rats can reach a length of 13" to 18" from tip to tip (nose to tail). Don't confuse rat droppings with squirrel droppings.

 

I will have to take some pictures to show the difference. Rats or squirrels in the attic?