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What Are Roof Rats?

Roof rats are a type of rodent and a widespread invader of both Dallas homes and businesses. They are social and tend to live together in colonies. Roof rats are very athletic and agile. These rodents received their name from their ability to climb trees and other things to gain access into buildings from the roof. They have thin bodies covered in dark brown or black fur, with gray hairs scattered throughout, and their underbellies are a lighter color.


Roof rats grow to between 6 and 8 inches in length, and their tail adds another 6-8 inches. Other physical features include a pointed nose, large ears, dark eyes, and a scaly, hairless tail.

Roof Rat Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

a roof rat looking for food in backyard

Are roof rats dangerous?

Like other types of rodents, roof rats destroy property using their powerful, sharp front teeth. They gnaw through wires, which can cause fires or electrical shorts. They also chew through and destroy things like pipes, insulation, flooring, furniture, storage boxes, and more. More importantly than the destruction of property is the health risks they pose. Roof rats contaminate food and surfaces with their saliva, urine, and excrement. They spread things like salmonellosis and rat-bite fever. They also are a host for parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites that come with their own set of problems and health risks.

Why do I have a roof rat problem?

Easy access to food, water, and shelter are the main reasons why roof rats are attracted to residential and commercial properties. Once living and foraging for food on your property, they eventually find themselves inside, seeking more sources of food and safe shelter in a temperature-controlled environment. Despite their size, rats can make their way into buildings using a space the width of a nickel. Just a few roof rats living on your near your property creates a problem because every female can produce around 40 offspring each year!

Where will I find roof rats?

Roof rats prefer to live up off of the ground inside homes and make their nests in attics, above ceilings, and in upper cabinets. Outside roof rats nest in fruit trees, shrubs, woodpiles, dense vegetation, and up in rafters in barns, garages, and other outbuildings. Roof rats are nocturnal; they hide in their nesting areas during the day and come out at night to forage for food. Roof rats are more active in cooler weather.

How do I get rid of roof rats?

Locally owned and family-operated, All-Safe Pest & Termite is the best choice to get rid of roof rats from your home or business. We offer fast response times and peace of mind knowing that your pest problems will be solved, and they won’t return. Our experienced pest control professionals provide quality rodent control services using the latest and most effective products to eliminate roof rats from Dallas properties. Discover why your neighbors choose All-Safe Pest & Termite for their pest control needs. Give us a call today!

How can I prevent roof rats in the future?

Prevent problems with roof rats by partnering with All-Safe Pest & Termite and by implementing the following prevention tips:

  • Eliminate entry points by sealing cracks in the foundation, exterior walls, and roofline.
  • Repair damaged or missing roof shingles.
  • Place a tight-fitting cap on chimneys.
  • Place door sweeps on all exterior doors.
  • Place mesh covers over vents leading into your home.
  • Seal up spaces around air-conditioners and utilities entering your home.
  • Trim back shrubs and trees from the exterior of your home.
  • Place metal flashing around the bottom of fruit trees to help prevent roof rats from being able to climb them and feed on their fruit.
  • Place tight-fitting lids on trash cans and compost bins.
  • Remove bird feeders from your property.
  • Make sure outdoor eating areas are free of food debris.

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