Roof rats are a rat subspecies that like to hang out in trees. When they infest our properties, they will usually go for the attic and set up in there. However, they may sometimes target the fruit trees in our gardens. These rats are just as dangerous as their more prolific cousins, the Norway rats, being able to spread a wide variety of diseases. So not only will they make a dent in your harvest, they will also contaminate the fruit with various pathogens. On top of that, if the rats are drawn to the fruit trees in your garden, it’s only a small leap from there to get into the home.
Roof rats are very acrobatic, and they need to be in order to reach their food and travel to the areas where they can build their nests safely. A roof rat is not only able to climb trees, it can scale vertical walls, walk on electrical wires, and jump from trees onto the roof. These rats are also prolific breeders, with a single female being able to give birth to up to 40 rats each year.
You will be able to tell that your fruit trees have been attacked by roof rats if you find your fruit being hollowed-out, with an entry hole that is about the size of a quarter. Finding one of these fruits should be an alarm signal that you need to prevent the rats from reaching your home, and fight the infestation while it is still in the yard.
There are also some things that you can do to prevent roof rats from being attracted to your yard. Make sure that you pick up any fruits as soon as they fall from their trees, and if your property is particularly at risk, you can work with a pest control pro to set a defensive perimeter that is composed of traps and poisons to kill any rats before they reach the trees. Having some cats around can also help.
If you notice that roof rats have a presence on your property, you can give us a call to perform an inspection and then implement some control measures that will protect your home and your fruit trees. Contact us today for more information on how to deal with roof rats or to set up an appointment for an inspection.