Roof Rat

Category: Rodents

Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata



Color: Mottled brown and black with white, gray, or black underside

Size: 6-8 inches long with 6-8 inch long tail

Region: Found in coastal and southern states

Lifespan: 12 months

Important Considerations:

  • It is not often that you see roof rats themselves. Instead, you may notice signs of a roof rat population like droppings, gnaw marks, damaged food products, greasy smudges on walls, or noises coming from walls or attic.
  • Roof rats will basically eat anything they can get their hands on. Although they prefer fruit, nuts, and seeds, they will rummage through garbage, raid pantries, and steal plants from gardens.
  • If threatened, rats will bite.
  • Rats can carry many different diseases including fleas, typhus, bubonic plague, infectious jaundice, trichinosis, and food poisoning.


Where to Find Them on Your Property?

Roof rats live in colonies and prefer areas that are sheltered or covered. For this reason, they often choose the upper-parts of buildings as their homes. Inside, they can be found living in attics, rafters, garages, or sheds. They can gain access to buildings through any hole that is larger than a nickel. Outside, they prefer places with thick shrubbery, wood piles, or storage boxes.