The Roof rat (Rattus rattus) accounts for nearly all the rodent pest activity in Sonoma County. Sometimes called a ship rat, house rat or black rat, it is the one that chews on your house, mostly at night. It has to chew to keep its front teeth trimmed. It chews on everything, but the roof rat’s favorite foods are grain and fruit. They will feast on fallen fruit and ivy in your yard, then scamper back along fences and utility lines into your house. They will chew in your kitchen, then snooze all day above the ceiling. They are good climbers and they tend to flee upwards and range in color from light brown to black.
The fleas on a Roof Rat carry bubonic plague, typhus, toxoplasmosis and trichinosis as well as other less well known diseases. They live in social groups of up to 60 rodents. If water contaminated by Rat urine gets in unhealed breaks in the skin, it can cause Leptospirosis (Fort Bragg fever). Call Rats To Roaches to have them eliminated from your home.
The other kind of rat is a Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) which prefers cooler climates than Sonoma County, but can be found near creeks, sewers, agricultural areas and developed neighborhoods. It is also called a Brown Rat and is larger and more aggressive than the Roof Rat (Black Rat). The Brown Norway Rat typically lives outdoors in underground burrows, and eats garbage, pet food, fallen fruit, grain, and whatever is growing in your garden. We can get rid of these, too. Just give us a call for a free estimate.
You have heard of people who keep rats as pets. Most pet rats are domesticated Brown Norway Rats. Go figure.