It’s that time of year again. The weather is cooling off, and you can finally go outside without melting. But it is also the time of year to start thinking of roof rats and how they can find their way into your home.
Roof rats, also known as palm rats, citrus rats, black or gray rats, house rats and fruit rats, are one of the most prolific rodent pests that Floridians have to encounter. They are also the kind of rats that spread Bubonic plague around the world.
Most people never see these creepy pests until the citrus and other fruits ripen. Then they can completely ruin a fruit crop, destroying more than they eat. They attack the fruit by hollowing out the inside, leaving the carcass as their calling card. They will damage your garden in much the same way, eating plants, fruits and vegetables. They are not picky eaters.
Their real intent though, is to get inside your home. They use branches or utility wires to get to the roof, then they will chew on roof tiles or shingles, tear through insulation, gnaw on wires and do much damage, trying to find a way inside. And they can squeeze through very small holes to gain entry.
If they get into your kitchen, they will eat any food that they can reach. And leave droppings that are dark, banana shaped and about a half-inch long, along with their urine. Rat urine can cause leptospirosis, which can result in liver and kidney damage and the droppings can dry and then be inhaled and cause other problems. If they were to get close enough to scratch or bite, it can cause rat-bite fever and other diseases.
These rodents are nothing to scoff at. They can cause much damage to your home and endanger the health of your family. Calling your pest control expert to rat-proof your home can give you the peace of mind to know that your family is safe from the many issues caused by the roof rat.