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Roof Rat

Roof RatPhysical Characteristics

The adult Roof rat is about 6″to 8″ with a tail length of 7″ to 10″ long. Fur is soft and color is usually brown with black intermixed to gray to black above with underside being white, gray or black. The roof rat has a pointed muzzle, large ears and eyes.



Roof rats are well known for damaging and destroying material by gnawing; they also eat and contaminate stored food. Its bite is also a risk to humans as they are a vector or carrier of diseases.

The Roof rat is nocturnal and, unlike mice, they shy away from new objects introduced into their territory. The Roof rat’s nesting preference is the upper parts of structures but has also been found in basements as well as outdoors in trees. Once the Roof rat has established a harborage, they tend to follow the same route to their food and/or water source, keeping their paths clear of debris.

Roof rats will feed on practically anything but prefer seeds, nuts, fruits and berries when in season. Roof rats will feed on snails, slugs,and the American brown and Smokey brown cockroach, if available. Near waterways, the Roof rat feeds on fish, shellfish and other aquatics.


Disease Carriers

Roof rats may carry or contribute to the following:

  • Salmonella
  • Plague
  • Jaundice/leptospirosis/Weil’s Disease
  • Trichinosis


The control of rodents can be widely varied, depending on the individual situation. Covering holes, filling cracks, baiting or trapping may be necessary. The trained Clark’s Technician will determine the best means of control for each customer.