Rats are the creatures associated with spreading of the Black Plague during the Middle Ages. Of course, the origin of the disease was due to a lot of other factors such as extremely poor hygiene and bad state of the sewage system to note a few, but the pest that is accountable for spreading the plague from city to city and even entire continents, is the roof rat.
What are roof rats?
In scientific terms, the roof rat is known as ‘Rattus Rattus’ and belongs to the Rodent family. The roof rat is also commonly known as the black rat even though its fur is usually dark brown in color.
The roof rat is easily distinguished with its tail, which is very long, thin and hairless, as compared to other rats. A fully grown adult rat reaches to about 13 to 18 inches long, including its tail!
In addition to that:
- Roof-rats are nocturnal creatures, hence more commonly spotted during the night, which is why it won’t be easy to figure out if there is a pest infestation or not.
- Their droppings are long and cylindrical, and carriers of parasites and viruses.
- They are good climbers, and prefer higher ground like trees and woodpiles. In your home, you will find the rat most probably in your attic or ceiling hence the name roof-rat.
- Roof-rats are so agile and flexible that they only need a hole the size of a quarter to gain entry into homes and buildings.
- Female roof-rats can have up to 4 litters a year, each litter containing five to eight young.
- The diet of roof-rats is pet food, nuts, vegetables, fruits, and spiders and worms.
What are the diseases carried by roof-rats?
Rats are the major carriers of diseases that are fatal to humans. These pests carry parasites in the form of fleas, which effectively spread disease and death wherever they go.
Rats carry the following diseases:
- Bubonic Plague
- Rat-bite fever
- Murine Typhus
- Repair broken and torn screens of doors
- Keep lids on trash cans
- Clean debris from the yard, and area of storage
- Don’t leave pet food outside
- Roof-rats love ripe citrus fruits, which is why you should pick the citrus fruits from your trees as soon as they ripen
What can you do to control this pest invasion?
If you have tried everything of the above and still cannot rid your home of the pesky little critters, there are a number of good pest control agencies that you will find in Phoenix that are only a click away. You can hire their services, to make your home rat-free!