Ocean Isle Beach Property Owners' Complete Guide To Roof Rats

A roof rat in an attic

Ocean Isle Beach Property Owners' Complete Guide To Roof Rats


Rats! Of all the pests to have in your home, rats can be the most unpleasant. They are large, often greasy and shiny, and can be aggressive. In this article, we want to focus specifically on roof rats, a common pest to the North Carolina resident. We’ll dig through some common questions so you can learn how to protect your home and your family.

What Type Of Rat Is This?

There are several different types of rats, but the most common two in North Carolina are roof rats and Norway rats. Roof rats, also called black rats, palm rats, and ship rats, are the smaller of the two. They grow up to eight inches, plus the length of their tail.

Roof rats get their name because they often climb up buildings or are found in upper-level rooms. Many times, roof rats get into the home through the chimney and hideout in attics. These rats are black and brown or grey in color, often with lighter undersides. They have long, scaly tales and their ears are large but smaller in proportion to their bodies than mice.

Are Rats Dangerous?

Rats are considered to be one of the more dangerous of house pests. This is primarily because they carry disease. Roof rats have been linked to diseases like leptospirosis, salmonellosis, tularemia, and more.

They can be aggressive and may bite if they feel threatened, spreading diseases with their bite,r fecal matter and urine. Even cleaning up after a rat infestation can be dangerous!

In addition, rats are constant chewers. They will gnaw on furniture, toys, books, and even wires. This puts your home in danger of an electrical fire and damaged belongings. Rats also need to eat, and they’re good at chewing through containers to get into food in your pantry.  If rats get into your food, consider that food to be contaminated and it must be thrown away because could be infected by one of the many diseases spread by the roof rats.

What Attracts Rats?

Rats are primarily attracted by food and shelter. They seek shelter inside homes in the fall and stick around if they are able to find food. Here are three ways complete with tips on how to prevent attracting rats:

Create Safe Storage

  • Store food in containers made of hard materials that rats can’t gnaw through, not thin plastic or cardboard
  • Store garbage in containers with a lid
  • Store fruits, vegetables, pet food, and birdseed at night

Regular Cleaning

  • Clean the kitchen before you go to bed, including under appliances
  • Clean storage rooms such as the basement or garage of unnecessary clutter.
  • Clean the bathrooms regularly and check for moisture problems, since moisture attracts rodents

Blocking Entryways

  • Install chimney covers, door sweeps, and vent covers
  • Check the exterior of your home for holes or cracks and seal with caulking or steel wool
  • Cut branches that hang over the roof of your house so the rats cannot climb

How Can You Get Rid Of Rats?

When prevention, such as a DIY approach fails, it’s important to turn to the professionals. When threatened, rats can become aggressive and bite. You do not want to be bitten by a roof rat, so it’s best not to approach these pests unprepared. BItes can be very dangerous, as rats carry bacteria and viruses in their system which can be transmitted to humans by the bite.

This is a job for the professionals at Jay Taylor Exterminating! We have the tools and equipment necessary to safely remove rats from your home. We can help you identify entry points or attractant factors that may have brought the rats inside, and we’ll help you get started on safe removal. When it comes to a roof rat invasion, it’s best to rely on the professionals to cure the problem. Learn more about our Ocean Isle Beach pest control offerings.