Kittitas County Property Owners Complete Roof Rat Control Guide

How much do you know about roof rats? Are you aware that these rats are typically black? Do you know that they're great climbers and that they are able to scale exterior walls that have porous or bumpy surfaces, such as concrete? Do you know that a roof rat can squeeze through a hole the size of its head? Do you know that a roof rat can jump two feet in the air or leap across a four-foot gap? There are many things that Kittitas County property owners don't know about roof rats, and knowledge is the key to getting control of roof rats. In this quick guide, we hope to give you a complete overview of what you need to know to get control, and keep control, of roof rats on your Kittitas County property.

Odors Attract Roof Rats

Roof rats have an impressive list of foods they'll eat, but many of the foods they eat won't attract them to your yard. When a roof rat is exploring a neighboring property, they don't know if you have slugs or snails crawling around in your landscaping, or seeds scattered about on the ground. What lures roof rats into your yard is the scent of decaying foods. While you might find the scent repugnant, roof rats are drawn to the scent.

  • Make sure to remove your trash routinely and deodorize your trash receptacles. The stronger the scent of garbage, the stronger the attraction for roof rats.
  • Urban rats can take to feeding on dog droppings. If your dog leaves droppings in your yard, the scent can attract roof rats.
  • If you have compost in your yard, the scent can attract roof rats. Take steps to reduce the odor, or use Bokashi to deter rats from getting into your compost.
  • If you keep recycling items in your garage, shed, or in your yard, the scent can attract roof rats. Make sure all of your recycling is as clean as possible. 

Food Sources Make Roof Rats Want To Stay

When roof rats explore your yard and find sources of food, they're likely to stay. Rats like to live near food sources because they feed several times during the night, and they collect food sources all night long. Here are a few examples of food sources you need to remove or protect:

Seeds. If you have bird feeders near your home, you're likely to have issues with roof rats and other rodents. Seeds are a dietary staple.

Nuts. Acorns and other nuts will make roof rats want to live with you forever. Clean these nuts up and keep bags away from the exterior of structures.

Fruits and berries. Pick up fruit and use fencing material to protect berry bushes from roof rats and other animals.

Bugs, slugs, and snails. A roof rat can live on these critters. Everything you do to address moisture and keep your landscaping vegetation healthy will help to reduce bugs, slugs, and snails.

Moisture Directly Attracts Roof Rats

Roof rats go by another name. They're often called ship rats. This name provides some additional insight into what works to manage these pests. Roof rats can be found living near sources of water and feeding on aquatic animals. They're great swimmers and they love water. If you have damp habitations or sources of water on your property, you can attract roof rats.

  • Clean gutters and repair gutter breaks.
  • Maintain landscaping so that it doesn't stay damp.
  • Repair leaks in plumbing.
  • Address conditions that cause puddles to form, such as poor gradation and compacted soil.

Roof Rats Will Access Your Property If You Let Them

When these rodents scale trees or exterior surfaces, they can get up onto your roof. If they're able to access your roof, there is little chance that they won't be able to chew their way into your home. Here are a few tips to help you prevent access.

  • Trim tree branches so that no branches hang over or within four feet of your roofline.
  • Trim landscape vegetation so that it doesn't touch your exterior walls.
  • Put wire mesh in the downspouts of your gutter system to keep these rats from working their way up to your roof.
  • If you have wires or cables attached to your home, consider putting something prickly at the point where these touch your home.

When Roof Rats Become A Problem

In most cases, you can get control of roof rats by using the tips we've provided here. But there are certain situations, such as when rodent pressures are high or attractive conditions can't be properly managed, that roof rats can become a problem. If you have a problem with roof rats, Prosite can help. We use industry-leading rodent control products and methods to remove and exclude rodents from Kittitas County structures. We can help you address your rodent problem. Reach out to us for immediate assistance. 

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