How Rats Get Into House Roofs & Prevention

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Rat Control & Prevention

Rats damage hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of attic insulation every day.  And it’s tough to imagine just how they get in.  The accompanying video shows but one example of how rats—as well as mice and squirrels—can get in between your ceiling and the roof of your home.  At this point they are right into your attic where they can compress, shred and contaminate the insulation you most count on to heat—or cool—your home.  And replacing the damaged insulation is costly being as it is such a tight space for workers to clean out the mess and install new material.

There are two types of rats in Seattle, Tacoma, Shelton and Anacortes.  There are Norway rats and roof rats, two distinct species.

Roof rats, as their name implies, love to climb trees and other obstacles and are more likely to nest in attics.  Roof rats are nocturnal, highly adaptable to live in various environments, but prefer to live in high places such as trees, attics, rafters, and roofs.

However, Norway rats are invasive, opportunistic and sometimes—when it’s not too hard to get in—will nest in attics as well. Norway rats are larger, also nocturnal by nature, and will enter homes when they can’t find food outside. To enter your home, Norway rats only need to find a hole the size of a quarter!

If you hear noises in your attic it could be any one of a number of animals, but rats are most suspect.  Also, carefully look for droppings near the house.  Even a few could indicate an infestation.

How to Prevent Rats from Getting in Your Home

There are ways homeowners can prevent rats entering your home and to avoid rat infestation. Here are some tips on rat prevention:

  • Keep wood piles or firewood storage a safe enough distance from your home
  • Pick up lawn debris or store yard waste a safe enough distance from your home
  • Keep shrubs (and tree branches) trimmed away from the structure of your home
  • If you have fruit trees, keep your yard cleaned up from fallen fruit
  • Seal any holes (or cracks) on the outside of your home with silicone caulking, steel wool, or a combo of both
  • Store garbage in tightly sealed containers
  • Store pet food, bird seed, and/or any dried food in tightly sealed containers
  • Eliminate outdoor water sources such as, bird feeders, leaky pipes, lawn sprinklers or hoses
  • Repair damaged screens
  • Use door sweeps (rubber, vinyl, silicone) on exterior doors
  • Screen vents and chimney openings
  • Keep crawl spaces, attics, and/or basements well ventilated and dry

If you suspect you have Norway or Roof rats, call in the experts at Cascade Pest Control. Our technicians are highly skilled and experienced at inspection, identification, rodent exclusion, and rat control.

Call us: 888-989-8979 or Request a Quote online

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