Roof Rat (Rattus rattus)
The roof rat is black or brown in colour and can reach up to over 16 inches in length, with a long tail, muzzle pointed head, large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose.
Environment and Behaviour:
Roof rats are excellent climbers and frequently enter buildings from the roof or from accesses near overhead utility lines, which they use to travel from area to area. They are highly adaptable. They prefer to live in high places, but may live in a variety of environments. They are nocturnal by nature.
They prefer to consume fruits (sometimes referred to as the “fruit rat” or “citrus rat”) and nuts, although roof rats are omnivorous and will feed on almost anything available to them.
At about 3 months of age they are completely independent of the mother and are reproductively mature producing four to six litters per year that consist of six to eight young each. Lives up to one year.
Females can breed year-round. Within a year, one female may be responsible for up to 40 new rodents.
Signs of infestation
- Sightings: Presence of live or dead rodent indicates infestation. Roof rats are nocturnal creatures therefore if seen in the day it means that there hiding places are occupied by other rats or has been interfered with.
- Droppings: Roof rat droppings are 12-18mm long with pointed ends.
- Run marks: The Roof rat secret oils in their fur and as they run along walls these markings can be detected.
- Apart from damage to property, Roof rats have been linked to the spread of numerous diseases such as:
- Bubonic plague – infected fleas present on the rodent transmit bacteria to humans.
- Trichinosis: may be contracted through eating undercooked meat of animals that have fed on rats.
- Rats can also transmit rat bite fever through bacteria in their mouth.
Control and Management of Rodents in Jamaica
G.O. ® Pest Control Service will identify the rodent and put in place the correct plan to address the problem, whether it is exclusion or rodent-proofing, habitat modification or sanitation or the application of rodenticides, our technicians will rectify the problem.