Dealing with Roof Rats in Memphis? How to Keep Your Family Safe with Inman-Murphy

This post is sponsored by Inman-Murphy, however the information provided is something we 100% stand behind and want our readers to know!

Did you know our sweet little hometown of Memphis, TN is the roof rat capital of the country?

These pesky critters love to spend their time inside your nice, warm attic – especially during the winter months. Here’s what you need to know about roof rats to keep your family safe including what to do if you experience a roof rat invasion.

Roof Rats – Important Facts You Need to Know

How do you spot them?

Roof rats are dark brown or black and can be 13-18 inches in length, including their tail. They’re slender, weighing in at 5-9 ounces, are hairless, and have large ears. You’ll recognize their droppings as long and cylindrical.

Where do they nest?

Outside, they’ll nest in trees, in dense vegetation, and in wood or debris piles. During the winter, they go inside where it’s warm and prefer upper levels of buildings such as the attic or in places near the ceiling.

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How do roof rats get inside?

If you have a hole the size of a quarter in your home, garage or shed, that’s enough room for a roof rat to sneak inside and start nesting. They may also follow pipes or chew through wood, plastic, drywall, aluminum siding or soft metals to get inside away from the cold and predators.

How do I know if I have roof rats?

Common signs of these unwanted invaders include:

  • Droppings
  • Visual sightings inside or on your property
  • Noises in the walls, attic, or chimney
  • Gnaw marks and sounds around the roof
  • Half eaten fruits or veggies (they love citrus fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds!)

Should I be concerned?

Rats are carriers of disease and can spread diseases by biting people or contaminating food with their urine or feces. In addition, diseases can be spread by rats indirectly such as when a flea bites an infected rat and then another person or a pet.

Can roof rats cause damage?

Yes. They can cause physical damage to your home and contaminate stored foods. Roof rats often gnaw on door frames, plastic and lead pipes, electric wires, upholstery, and more.

Roof Rat Prevention

To prevent roof rats this winter, keep your yard and landscape manicured and trim trees and bushes. Don’t leave pet food out overnight and avoid refilling the bird feeder for a few months. Put food in sealed containers and keep garbage containers tightly covered.

Traps can be placed in the attic away from children and pets as a preventive measure. Be sure to check the traps every few days in the event one is caught.

Roof Rat Extermination

Because roof rats can potentially cause serious home damage and exposure to disease, they should be removed from your home and property at the first sign. Families should act quickly because roof rats can give birth to 5-8 young after a 21 to 23 day gestation period leading to a full on infestation. Local rodent exterminators can get rid of the problem for you and take preventive measures to keep them from coming back.

Keep your family safe and protected by watching for warning signs and acting quickly to keep roof rats out of your home this winter!

Inman-Murphy is a local Memphis Pest Control company serving the termite, rodent, and pest control needs of residents and business throughout Shelby, Tipton, and Fayette Counties.