Roof Rats Removal & Pest Control Services

Roof Rat Removal & Pest Control Services

The roof rat, or black rat (Rattus rattus) is an Old World rodent species not native to GTA that was identified in a GTA neighborhood in 2001. It poses both a health and safety hazard. The roof rat is implicated in the transmission of a number of diseases to humans, including murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and plague. It is also capable of transmitting a number of diseases to domestic animals and is suspected in the transference of ectoparasites from one place to another.

In addition to consuming and contaminating stored food and feedstuffs, roof rats will gnaw on wiring (posing a fire hazard), and tear up insulation to use it for nesting material. The rats will feed on the fruit and vegetative portions of many landscape and garden plants including the bark of trees. Their feeding and gnawing may completely girdle young trees. Roof rats will often eat the pulp from oranges while the fruit is still hanging on the tree, leaving only the empty rind. The roof rat is one of three rodent species that were brought to this continent aboard ships in the 17th and 18th centuries. The other two are the Norway or sewer rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the common house mouse (Mus musculus).

Norway rats and house mice are generally found throughout the GTA wherever humans live. House mice are common in GTA, and there have been unconfirmed sightings of the Norway rat in GTA. Until recently, roof rats ranged mainly along the lower half of the GTA, and along the western portions of the Pacific coastal states; they had not been a problem in GTA. Yet the roof rats identified in east GTA have found an ideal habitat among old growth citrus trees, palm trees and other mature landscaping, and abundant irrigation canals that may provide a suitable environment for these rats for some time.

The number of roof rats identified and the increased area of infestation indicate that this rat is established in the affected area, at least temporarily. The rats were likely introduced into the area through some sort of freight—possibly a shipment of fruit or other food, or livestock feed or equipment.

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