Rats living in your crawl space or walls? Disappearing pet food? Dead rats or rat dropping in your attic? These may well be signs of a rat infestation. Call your local Critter Control office today at 800 CRITTER for effective rodent cleanup, rat removal and exclusion services. Description Since their introduction in the 17th century, this invasive rodent has flourished along the eastern and western coasts of the United States, as well as in the Gulf States. The agile roof rat has long been associated with the plague, among other diseases, and can cause considerable damage to homes and food supplies. Appearance Similar in appearance to other common types of rats, Roof rats have: Dark brown or black coats Light underbellies Narrow bodies Large ears Hairless, scaly tails that are often longer than their bodies Dexterous feet, that allow them to jump and climb with ease large, hairless ears give them keen senses of hearing, Relatively poor eyesight. Grown between 12 and 18 inches in length including their tails Habitat Roof Rats get their name becasuse they prefer to nest off the ground, which in some cases means the roof of a house or building. Wild roof rats nestle in trees or among dense, overgrown vegetation. Dark, enclosed spaces, such as attics and unoccupied lofts, make excellent homes for the rodents and bring them into frequent conflict with humans. The primarily nocturnal omnivores constantly explore and memorize pathways in and around their nests. Roof Rat Problems Entry Roof rats can enter homes through an opening as small as a quarter. Typically, these rodents are known to enter homes in search of suitable shelter and food. Homes offer shelter from certain predators and provide unlimited resources, and a warm place to live and breed. Roof Rats are also attracted to gardens and citrus fruit trees, which in many cases will lead them to property near homes. With the promise of easy meals, rats are likely to nest in areas close to homes. While attics and elevated, enclosed spaces make excellent nesting territories. Once they settle into convenient nesting spots, the rats can travel hundreds of feet each night in search of food. This means that even though roof rats may live in the attic of one house, they travel across wires or through the branches of trees to find food in different houses or yards. Damage Although roof rats do not attack people or pets, they will bite or scratch in defense when cornered or handled. Their bites, droppings, and urine can spread dangerous diseases such as murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and plague. While foraging for something to eat, rats chew through sealed containers and contaminate large quantities of food meant for people, livestock, and pets. The rodents also chew and tear insulation to use as nesting material and gnaw through electrical wires and wooden structures. Though many may even seem cute to some, these rodents are a common pest and often are difficult ot erradicate. Roof Rat Control Control and Safety The most effective way to keep unwanted roof rats away from your property is to maintain clean and sanitary homes. Dispose of loose food, secure garbage bins with tightly sealed lids, and remove outdoor pet food to discourage rats from foraging in and around homes. Eliminating potential nesting sites and points of entry also reduces the possibility of infestation. Trim overgrown shrubbery, cut vines off fences, and maintain tree limbs so that none hang over homes providing easy access to rooftops and attics. Trapping and Removal Given that they spread disease and become aggressive when cornered, individuals should never approach roof rats. If signs of infestation present, contact Critter Contro of Gulf Shores technicians immediately. Our trained professionals have tools at their disposal to aid them in the removal of roof rats. Our methods are safe for all people and animals involved. We can help you get rid of roof rat problems! Call the Critter Control Gulf Shores office today! 251.298.8435 Critter Control of Gulf Shores Service Area Alabama: Mobile, Saraland, Chickasaw, Prichard, Daphne, Fairhope, Foley, Gulf Shores, Loxley, Magnolia Springs, Orange Beach, Perdido, Robertsdale, Silverhill, Spanish Fort, Summerdale, Atmore, East Brewton, Flomaton, Pollard, Riverview, Bayou La Batre, Creola, Dauphin Island, Mount Vernon, Satsuma, Semmes, Baldwin County, Escambia County, Mobile County Florida: Century, Pensacola, Cinco Bayou, Crestview, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Laurel Hill, Mary Esther, Niceville, Shalimar, Valparaiso, Milton, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Escambia County, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County This franchise is independently licensed and operated by WINKE, LLC, dba Critter Control of Mobile-Pensacola Critter Control of Gulf Shores offers wildlife control services throughout the Gulf Shores area. Call the professionals for help with wildlife in the home.