Black Rat Victoria
Common Name: Roof Rat, Black Rat, Ship Rat
Scientific Name: Rattus rattus
Roof Rats can be black, grey, and even brown in colour, have a more pointed snout, large ears and eyes, and a characteristically long tail, that when stretched out, is longer than the length of its head and body.
As their name suggests, the roof rat is an excellent climber, often preferring to inhabit higher areas of a structure, such as attics, and roof voids, though they may be found anywhere including crawlspaces and wall voids. Outdoors roof rats will often nest in trees, vines and other arboreal areas, but are also known to inhabit rocky shorelines and other ground level sites. Roof rats tend to prefer fruits, plant matter, nuts, and seeds, but are omnivorous, and will eat other mammals as well as birds eggs, snails, and refuse.
Roof rats have a very high rate of reproduction, with females producing on average 3-5 litters per year, with an average litter size of 7-8 young, although depending on certain conditions, this can range from 1-16. The gestation period is on average 23-24 days long.
Rats are known vectors of various parasites, viruses, and bacterium, avoid direct contact with infested areas, especially areas with concentrations of droppings and urine. They routinely contaminate food in production, storage, and transportation.
Indoors – Roof rats can be controlled through the use of a variety of mechanical traps. It is crucial that all entry/exit locations are identified and modified to prevent rat access. Neophobia, or the fear of new things or experiences, is a fairly common trait amongst roof rats, which can complicate control measures, and steps should be taken to avoid stimulating this behaviour. The use of rodenticide is strongly discouraged indoors, as rats may die in inaccessible areas of the structure, leading to secondary pest infestations (most commonly flies), and very unpleasant odour issues.
Outdoors – The most effective strategy is to not create environments that are conducive to rat activity. This includes ensuring all tree limbs are at least 4-6 feet away from roof lines, shrubs or piles of wood and debris are kept away from the building, and all sources of food, including bird seed, garbage, and compost are stored in rodent proof containers.
Roof rats can be notoriously difficult to control. A pest management professional is recommended for all rodent control. If you are having trouble with rodents in your home or business, call Victoria Pest Control today! We have over 25 years of guaranteed pest management expertise!!!