Rats to Roaches in Sonoma County CA

Rats and Mice Eliminated

The Roof rat (Rattus rattus) accounts for nearly all the rodent pest activity in Sonoma County. Sometimes called a citrus rat, fruit 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 because they like warmth. They are good climbers and they tend to flee upwards and range in color from light brown to black.

Rats to Roaches in Sonoma County CA
Norway Rats are larger and prefer cool weather.
Rat and Mice Extermination in Sonoma County CA

The fleas on rats 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.


As a retired physician, I really appreciate the approach Rats to Roaches took to solving my roof rat problem. They took a history, asking me about the sounds made by the rats, they made a physical inspection of the problem areas, then they made a diagnosis.

Even though a friend advised me to get three bids from high-profile competing companies, after talking with a neighbor, I chose Rats to Roaches to help me. I felt they were invested in delivering good work as they are locally owned rather than a franchise.

I spoke with Steve Gustafson, the owner of the company, and worked mainly with his son-in-law, John, the next owner of the company. John was very thorough and informative about how the rats got in and what I needed to do to prevent subsequent infestations.

Helping me solve the rat problem permanently, rather than setting me up for yearly visits, is a mark of professionalism.

Steve and John eliminated my roof rats and recommended Tom, who was expert in sealing the house to prevent further infestation. He dug a trench around my foundation, filled it with cement, then embedded expanded metal in the top to create a burrow-proof barrier around the house. He then covered the barrier with soil to restore the appearance of the house. I have not been troubled with rats since, and that is quite a claim for someone living next to one of Santa Rosa's beautiful creeks!

Kathryn R.
Santa Rosa

Roof Rats are typical in Sonoma County.
Roof Rat Extermination in Sonoma County CA

Rat Prevention

Long term success with rat control requires sanitation. Rats need a reliable source of water, which is why many seek homes near creeks. Here are some ways to limit their food sources:

  • Bags or boxes of animal feed in sheds should be transferred to large metal containers with tight fitting lids
  • Rats like paper and cardboard to build their nests, so remove paper litter or storage
  • Rats can eat grass clippings and weeds, so eliminate these from your yard
  • Indoors, pet food and other edibles should sealed in storage containers
We are rodent experts and can locate their nests, entrances, and runways. Call us to find out how we can help get rid of vermin and rodents.

Rat Entrances

Chewing rats will enlarge an opening as small as a half-inch in diameter to gain access above your ceiling and under your roof. Rats can find small holes in your siding and can enter through damaged air vents. They will get through poorly-fitted doors, windows and screens.

  • Seal any openings larger than a quarter-inch with caulk, wood, mesh, or other appropriate materials
  • Floor drains and sewer pipes should have tight-fitting grates with openings less than 1/4 inch in diameter
  • Make sure that all doors, windows and screens fit tightly in their frames. If this is a clear entry point, cover edges of screens with sheet metal to prevent rats from gnawing around them.

Traps vs. Bait

Trapping avoids the use of poisons which can be harmful to pets, children and other wildlife including fish. We can locate the entrances and runways to place traps. We schedule a follow-up to check the traps and dispose of successful captures to eliminate any odor problem. We use enough traps to eliminate rodents quickly so trapping is the preferred method of indoor control. We typically place traps flush with walls in areas we have determined to be most active.

Baiting uses rodenticides to attract and kill vermin. Rodents sniff out the bait and return to feed upon it continuously until the poison kills them. If used indoors, sometimes the rats die in the walls or ceiling, creating an odor problem. Poison bait is typically used as a supplementary treatment to trapping when there is a large rodent infestation, or for outdoor abatement and control.

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