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Pest & Rodent Control In Sarasota & Bradenton

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The Roof Rat: Everything You Need to Know About This Prolific Rodent in Florida

Roof Rats

We have learned that while science and history may have much to say about the roof rat, our customers have their feelings when we tell them they have a roof rat problem and they will need rat control.  Some of the common ones: “OMG NO”, “Tell me you’re joking,” “I’m Moving Out,” “Burn It Down,” and the most common, “EWWWWWWW.”  One lady even punched me in the arm, screaming, “UGH” … almost died of embarrassment… apologized several times, and said, “Now that I’ve assaulted you, I guess you can name your price.”  While that was a bit of a shock, I laughed it off and told her it was fine and would make for a great story.    

Roof Rat on a plate By: James Knight, Owner of Rodent Solutions

The Roof Rat Has Many Names

Also known as black rats, ship rats, palm rats, fruit rats, or tree rats, they are the most commonly found rodent in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Parrish areas. Many of our customers can’t bring themselves to say their names.  They often call them “unwanted guests.”

Roof Rats Are Amazing Climbers

Roof rats prefer to be off of the ground.  They are excellent climbers, allowing them to frequently access rooftops and enter buildings through small openings or gaps in the soffit, fascia, and roof. Unique to the Roof Rat in this area, they have an extra pad on the bottom of their feet to assist with grip when climbing trees, downspouts, and pool screens.  

Oh, and YES, they can climb directly up walls.  Roof rats also have extra-long toes to assist with their climbing antics. Their long tails also help help them achieve better balance.  They are in constant search for water and food sources.  Once inside, they can cause damage to insulation and AC ducts and even pose a fire hazard by gnawing on electrical wires.

A Short, Busy Life

Roof rats have a lifespan of 1-2 years in the wild.  Despite their short life, they can have a huge impact on reproduction.  The female roof rat can give birth several times a year.  They have a gestation period of 19-23 days and are ready to mate again two days after giving birth.  The female roof rat produces litters of 6-12 pups each time. The pups will be ready to mate within 30-35 days. It is roughly estimated that two adult roof rats could produce as many as 1250 rats a year.  Their fast reproduction rates make it essential to get them removed as soon as they enter your home   

Zoonotic Diseases Carried by Roof Rats 

Rat droppings are a constant area of concern for our customers and with good reason. Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be spread from animals to humans.  Roof Rats (and other rats), as you will read in the next paragraph, have long since been a menace to mankind.  Roof Rats carry many health risks and spread zoonotic diseases like the plague, salmonella, and the Hantavirus.  These dangers make fast roof rat control essential.   

The roof rat’s urine has a high protein content commonly known to cause post-nasal drip and allergy-type reactions (itchy eyes, sinus irritation). It can cause asthma symptoms to worsen dramatically.  Zoonotic diseases carried by root rats can be transmitted to humans through contact with their feces, urine, hair, body dander, or salvia.  Rat bite fever and rabies can be transmitted through bites.

History of Roof Rats

Roof rats have a long and storied history, playing a significant role in the spread of the bubonic plague in Europe during the Middle Ages. It’s estimated that the bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, killed between 75 and 200 million people in Europe during the 14th century. This devastating disease was transmitted by fleas that infested rats, particularly roof rats like the ones common in the Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Parrish areas of Florida.

 The plague continued to be a significant threat in Europe for centuries, with smaller outbreaks occurring as recently as the 19th and 20th centuries. While modern medicine has made the bubonic plague much less of a threat today, it’s still important to take measures to prevent and control the spread of diseases carried by rodents like roof rats. They were also responsible for spreading diseases on ships during the Age of Exploration, hence their name “ship rats”. Today, roof rats continue to be a major pest problem in many parts of the world, including our local

Prevent Roof Rat Infestations

A rodent exclusion is always the most effective way to get rid of roof rats from your home or business. This is the process of sealing off their entry points. If you find evidence of a roof rat infestation, it’s essential to act quickly to eliminate the problem before it becomes too severe. At Rodent Solutions, we offer roof rat removal services tailored to prevent rats in Lakewood Ranch, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Parrish.  

We could spend more time telling you why we think we are the best pest control company for your issue, but our Google Reviews speak for themselves.  Check our reviews out for yourself, then call the Rat Prevention Specialists, Rodent Solutions.

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