What You Need to Know About Roof Rats

Updated April 11, 2024

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

In Memphis, we see two types of rat species that can pose significant issues. One is a burrowing rat, and the other is a roof rat.

What Makes Roof Rats Unique?

If you’ve got rats in your roof, you need to get rid of them ASAP. In order for that to happen, you must identify what kind of rat it is. The good news is, roof rats have some identifying characteristics. Brown rats are another common kind of rat we see in Memphis homes; they prefer to go in and out of your house as they please and live in a burrow in the yard. On the other hand, when roof rats get in your home, they are going to take up residence and make themselves comfortable (rent-free, of course). This is why roof rats are commonly referred to as house rats.

How do Roof Rats Get Inside Homes?

A roof rat can enter a home through any entry point from as low as the ground to as high as the chimney’s tip. Here are some tips to keep the roof rats at bay:

  • Trim all tree branches away from your roofline. This will prevent roof rats from jumping onto the roof.
  • Trim all bushes and shrubs away from your home’s exterior. This will prevent the roof rats from using bushes to climb to higher areas outside of your house.
  • Push wire mesh into all downspouts. This will keep roof rats from working their way up to your downspouts.
  • Fill all holes and gaps around the foundation of your home that are the size of a quarter or larger with caulking.
  • Seal gaps around exterior window and door frames.
  • Replace all damaged screens, weatherstripping, vent covers, and door sweeps.
  • Repair any broken window panes

Keeping Roof Rats Out of Your Yard

Roof rats can come into your yard for a number of reasons and also for no reason at all. Here’s what to do to keep the roof rats away:

  • Standing water provides a place for roof rats to quench their thirst. Remove all containers and fix conditions that cause standing water.
  • Bugs are a source of food for roof rats. To limit bug habitats, keep the grass trimmed, remove unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping, and rake leaves.
  • Another source of food for roof rats is garbage. Ensure your exterior trash is always protected in covered containers and keep your containers free of smells.
  • Seal all pet food, so the scent doesn’t attract roof rats.

Dangers of Roof Rats

When roof rats enter your home, they can endanger your health as well as your property. Some of the dangers of roof rats include:

  • Roof rats chew holes that allow rainwater to enter your home.
  • They can chew holes that will let other pests into your home.
  • They chew holes in food packages and then contaminate the foods inside.
  • They bring ticks, fleas, and other parasites inside with them.
  • They leave their urine and feces everywhere they go.
  • They chew on wires that can lead to a house fire.

Whether you’re dealing with roof rats or any other kind of pests in the Memphis, TN area, count on Foundation Pest Control. We go above and beyond to protect your home from unwanted pests while offering the best customer service.