Rats are among the most common rodent in Florida and the most likely to invade your home or business. Rats are known to spread diseases and ailments, along with ruining food supplies and causing extensive damage to structures, utility lines, and personal property. Florida is home to the Roof Rat, Norway Rat and Wood Rat species. At this time, we at Southeast Florida Pest Control would like to take the opportunity to briefly discuss the basics of these rats found in our area.
Rat Species Found in Florida; Norway, Roof & Wood Rats
Norway Rats: These rats generally have shaggy fur that is either gray or brown and they can reach up to 16 inches in length. Their ears and tails are covered in scales and the tail is shorter than their body. More often than not, Norway rats prefer to stay outside but will venture inside homes and businesses in an effort to find food if it becomes scarce. Being omnivorous creatures, they will eat nearly anything they can find; from meats and grains to fruit. When they do infiltrate a building, they generally make their way down to either a basement or crawl space to nest during the day and at night they emerge to find food, water, and if necessary, nesting materials. They typically only live about a year in the wild, but within a year, a single female can produce just over 20 babies.
Roof Rats: The most common species of rat found in Southern Florida is the roof rat. Because of their commonality, other rat species are often accused of being a roof rat by those who do not know the distinctions. Roof rats will eat anything if it means survival, but typically they prefer a vegetarian diet. These rats average lifespan is 2-3 years and the females can produce approximately 20 babies a year. Roof rats have long tails and their eyes and ears appear large. They generally reach about 8 inches in length and their smooth fur is either black or darker brown variation. In comparison to the Norway rat, roof rats are described described as small and sleek with their surprisingly soft and smooth fur. Unlike Norway rats, roof rats prefer to occupy the attic space when they break into buildings. A distinction to their presence includes grease marking left on the surfaces they come into contact with.
Wood Rats: These rates a tad smaller than the others, usually only reaching 7 inches in length. Their bodies are hamster-like, having the long fur colored varieties of brown, gray, and black that is soft and fine. Their tails are also different. Instead of having the scales, they have furry tails. Wood rats are among the most obnoxious, not only do they share common antics as other rats, stealing food, contaminating the remains and leaving droppings in their wake along with the damage to structures, but these little thieves will pilfer small items, earning the nick name “Pack Rats”.
Rodent Control & Removal
No matter which of these rats are terrorizing your Florida home, it is essential you call the experts of Southeast Florida Pest Control to get rodents removed before damage is costly or the occupants contract any rodent diseases. Contact us today!