In Florida, there are two main types of rats that tend to invade homes and attics. The first is the roof rat, which is sometimes called a fruit rat. Roof rats range in size from 12-14 inches including the tail but have been known to reach up to 18 inches including the tail. Roof rats were originally introduced from Asia when settlers first came to America. They can reproduce when they are as young as 3 months old and can have 5 litters of 5 to 8 pups a year. Roof rats are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. They will eat everything from Acorns and nuts to other animals. Rats are generally nocturnal, which sometimes allows them to go undetected in attics for a long period of time.
The other type of rat found in Florida is the Norway rat. Although not as common, Norway rats have been known to invade crawlspaces and even attics. They tend to live closer to the water and are primarily carnivores. Their preferred diet is fish but they have been known to eat other rats as well.
Rats in your home or attic pose several hazards and need to be evicted from your home as soon as possible. Some of the hazards rats bring to you and your home are listed below.
Diseases: Rats carry various diseases which can put you and your pets at risk. Some of the diseases rats can carry are the bubonic plague, murine typhus, rat bite fever and leptospirosis, among other diseases.
Damage to pipes, AC ducts and insulation: Rats have front teeth that never stop growing, which means they constantly need to chew to keep them filed down. Rats will chew through, PVC water pipes, lead pipes, plastic and even A/C ducts. This means costly repairs for the home owner. They will also contaminate and mat down insulation which will render it less effective and may even leave an odor of feces and urine in your home. Rats will also chew through spray foam and can even chew through light gauge metal, which is why we use only heavy metal and/or concrete products to close your entry points properly.
Fires: Rats will also chew through wires, dramatically increasing your chances of a fire. It is believed that many fires with undetermined causes are started from rodents chewing on wires. However, many home insurance policies have exclusions for rodent infestations, which means if it is determined that a rat caused a fire in your home, you may not be covered.
Rats are very persistent and nimble rodents. This makes them very difficult to keep them out of your home. A rat can jump as far as 36 inches, and as high as 18 inches. They can also climb textured walls, wires and inside/outside pipes. Rats can squeeze into a hole as small as your finger and are known to “flatten” out to squeeze under spaces smaller than a half an inch. When one of our professionals comes to inspect your home, we will find all potential entry points and properly close them so you never have to worry about rats getting into your home again.
The use of poisons in your home or attic for rats or mice is not recommended. If rats or mice eat poison in your attic, chances are they will die and be very stinky and difficult to locate. Despite claims that rats will eat poison and leave your home for water, rats can obtain water from condensation on A/C lines and other pipes, so now you will have a stinky house that will also attract more rats.
Call us today and we will inspect your home and attic, find all of the entry points and put together a plan of action to eliminate the rodents, close all the entry points and disinfect/deodorize any of the areas the rats may have left feces or urine.