You won’t always see roof rats because they are nocturnal and forage for food at night. However, you need to know the signs of infestation that can alert you to their presence. Once found, you can take the proper control measures.
One of the most obvious signs of infestation is roof rat droppings. Roof rat droppings are smaller than those of Norway rats. The droppings are about 0.5 in long with pointed ends. Other signs of a roof rat infestation include:
- Gnawing or scratching noises in the attic or walls
- Gnaw marks around the home’s roof or eaves
- Spotting them running on tree limbs, power lines, roofs, patios and in fruit trees
- Hollowed-out fruit if you have fruit trees
- Gnawing damage to electrical wires in the home
- Pets showing signs of stress and agitation
- Grease trails and marks as they travel regular routes through the home
- Nests found in the insulation of your home
Once inside, the roof rat population can grow rapidly. A female can have a litter of five to eight babies. In warm, tropical regions, roof rats breed year-round, and females can have up to three litters a year.