Roof Rat Characteristics And Deterrent Methods

Roof rats are dark-colored rodents that tend to seek higher ground. Although rats may seek refuge in trees or along the eaves that comprise a rooftop, they may also look for interior spaces to nest in. As cold weather approaches, it is a good time to assess pavement, trees, and shrubbery that could lure rats to your property.

Physical Characteristics And Habits

Roof rats are rodents that have long tails. They may be a dark brown or black color and have a dark or light-colored underbelly. Roof rats tend to forage for food and warmth during the coldest months of the year. They consume fruits, grains, and other natural materials that may comprise a yard.

If any pavement on a property is elevated, including stairs, roof rats may climb them or seek refuge alongside them. Roof rats also tend to hide in trees that have dense branches. If a roof rat can access a shed or a home, they may do so. 


Having repairs made to your property will minimize the occurrence of seeing rats. Sloped pavement or pavement that contains a steep incline should be inspected and patched. Rats may take up refuge inside deep holes that are within pavement that is located at an elevated height. Trees that are located alongside a paved surface may also provide rats with a favorable area to nest. Fruit that falls from trees should be collected promptly.

Dense foliage should be trimmed back. To prevent staining on pavement, a paving contractor should be hired to clean the pavement and apply a sealant to it. These steps will prevent rat droppings from affecting the appearance of pavement. Pavement can simply be swept off or rinsed off, without dealing with any damage to the pavement itself.

Spotting And Trapping Roof Rats

Lures can be used to attract rats. If you live in an area where roof rats have previously been spotted, setting up some food bait stations is a viable way to attract this rat species. Bait stations should be set on firm ground that rats can easily access.

Because rats will not always remain at an elevated height, especially when they are foraging for food, setting some bait stations up along one end of your driveway may provide you with a convenient way to trap rats. Any roof rats that you trap should be returned to the wild. As the season passes, you may notice that the roof rat population has dwindled.