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Usually brown with black intermixed, to gray or black above with a lighter underside.
Roof rat droppings are up to ½ inch (12.5 mm) long and spindle shaped.
Roof rats roam around the world. In the U.S. they are most common in coastal and southern states, especially near seaports.
No acrophobia here – these little daredevils love heights. Treetops and roofs are good, indoors and out, but sometimes they will descend from their lofty position and make do with burrows, basements, sewers, or under buildings.
Mom didn't raise no picky eaters, but she did teach them to like their fruits, veggies and cereal. Yet roof rats tend to eat a lot all at once, returning to the spot time after time. They know what they don't like, and will shy away from it.
Pregnancy lasts 3 weeks, and females have 4-6 litters per year, with 6-8 young per litter. Newborns grow hair after 1 week, open their eyes at 2, and are weaned at 3-4. They mature in 2-5 months and are adults for 9-12 months. As with the Norway rat, they have poor vision and are color-blind, but their other senses are sharp. They are nocturnal and can run, climb, jump and swim. They explore a lot, though are bashful of unfamiliar objects.
Let's just say they don't bathe every day, and transmit disease through droppings, urine, bites, fleas and mites in their fur. Also, they eat stored food.
A half inch opening will do it.
Overall, the key to controlling roof rats includes sanitation, elimination of their shelter, and rodent-proofing the structure. Gnaw marks, droppings, footprints, and 'tail-drag' marks are signs they've already infiltrated your home, as well as dark greasy markings that come from rubbing against things.
Cleaning up spillage will enhance the chances of rodents visiting control measures. Getting rid of rodent evidence allows monitoring of the population control, while removing clutter and excess storage allows the setting of control measures and monitoring for population decrease. Exclusion is an important aspect of rodent control in structures. Most rodent problems are a result of indigenous species seeking food and shelter in our homes or businesses. Rodents also have an advantage; they can "flatten" their bodies to fit through openings (¼ inch for mice). A thorough inspection is important to identify entry points and to repair them, and is the only way to achieve long-term control in areas where this rodent is indigenous. Once the entry points have been repaired, use of mechanical trapping devices is recommended. We do not recommend the use of rodenticides inside residential properties. When using any rodenticide, read the entire label prior to use. Follow all label instructions, restrictions and precautions.
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