There are few things more unnerving than the skittering of little paws across the unfinished beams above your head. If you live in South Florida, you’re unfortunately in prime territory for one of the smartest rodents pest management professionals face. As a result, if you are dealing with rats in the attic, you need to act quickly and take the proper steps to deal with the issue effectively.
Understanding Differences in Rats
There are two common types of rats that we face in South Florida, one being extremely common. The reason that it’s important to know the difference is that they nest in different types of spaces. More importantly, you are at risk of infestations from one more than the other.
Roof Rats AKA Palm Rats, Fruit Rats, Citrus Rats
As the name implies, roof rats love building nests well off the ground to avoid predators. They’re the most common variant with brown or black fur and are relatively small, from three to eight inches long. Not only are they the most prevalent, but they are also the most likely to take up residency in your roof eaves or attics.
Norway rats are more common throughout the rest of the United States. They are generally larger than roof rats, have scaly tails and short ears. Norway rats are less likely to be attracted to elevated spaces, preferring basements, crawl spaces, and gaps near entranceways. In addition, they are more omnivorous than roof rats, which plays a key role in how to manage their presence.
How to Deal With Rats in Your Attic
The most common problem with rats in the attic isn’t just treating them but making sure that you don’t just replicate the conditions that will allow more to come in and cause you problems in the future. Here are our most common recommendations:
- Know What You’re Looking for – The first step is making sure you are dealing with a rat infestation. Some common signs are strange behavior of your pets, grease marks around rafters from their travel, evidence of gnawing or chewing, and droppings.
- Remove Potential Food and Water Access – While you’re unlikely to store food in your attic, remember that rodents can travel a couple of hundred feet in search of food and water. Make it inhospitable for them to nest in and around the attic by storing your food safely in containers and eliminating sources of standing water. If you have things you can toss from your attic, like old books or paperwork, now is the time to do so.
- Make Structural Repairs – Making minor repairs to cracks and gaps in your roof, even while rodents are present, still can help your infestation from multiplying in size. You want to control the number of rodents in the house and since you are already working up there, making repairs prevents rats and other pests from having easy access to the space.
- Set Up Baits and Traps – One of the most frustrating parts of dealing with rats in the attic is that once you have gotten to the step of deciding how you want to catch them, you must still be patient. Rodents are very wary creatures, so even if you set up traps along common travel markers, like where you see the grease marks, you may still have to wait a couple of days while they investigate.
Perhaps most importantly, even with your best efforts, these wily creatures may still be stuck in your attic. If that’s the case, it may be time to call in professional help that you can trust to deal with your rodent issue.
Get Professional Help With Rats in Your Attic
Rats are pesky, tricky, and ready to carry diseases throughout your house. Unfortunately, trying to deal with an infestation yourself is no easy task. If you need help getting rid of rats in your attic, call the South Florida experts at Nozzle Nolen. We have more than 70 years of experience dealing with both the roof and Norway variants.
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Nozzle Nolen has been providing rodent pest control services in South Florida for over 70 years. If you would like more information regarding rats in your attic, or if you have an active infestation, Contact us today to schedule your free evaluation or call 800-226-6536. We look forward to serving you.