top of page

Tree Rats Florida Harbors | Port St. Lucie, Delray Beach

Have you ever had a glimpse of a small unwelcome visitor scurrying through your backyard and scampering up a tree? You might have just seen a tree rat—a mischievous and agile creature that has made itself at home in the Sunshine State.

In this article, we'll get to know more about tree rats Florida properties may very well have lurking within them. Get to know the signs of their presence and effective ways to remove them from your home.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the habits and dangers of Florida tree rats is crucial to protect your home and property.

  • Implement preventive measures like sealing gaps, protecting trees, and blocking entry points to deter tree rat infestations.

  • For swift and effective tree rat prevention, consider enlisting the expertise of a professional pest control company.

Facts About the Tree Rat

Head of a black rat peeking out from under a wooden log

Tree rats are commonly found in Florida. They're also known by many other names, such as palm rats, citrus rats, roof rats, ship rats, fruit rats, or black rats.

These small rodents have adapted to the lush landscapes of the Sunshine State. They possess a knack for nesting in palm trees or other elevated locations, making them skilled climbers.

Palm trees, with their tall and slender trunks, provide an ideal sanctuary for these creatures. Palm rats live up in roofs too or high structures. Their nimbleness allows them to climb high and seek shelter and safety in heights.

Dietary habits

When it comes to sustenance, roof rats primarily feast on fruits, which earned them the moniker "fruit rats." The abundant citrus groves and fruit-bearing trees of Florida offer a bountiful supply of their favorite fare. However, these resourceful rodents are not picky eaters and will readily consume a variety of food items, including grains and seeds.

Their predilection for fruits, coupled with their adeptness in climbing, makes them a potential nuisance for homeowners with fruit trees or lush gardens.

Physical characteristics

One distinctive feature of roof rats is their tails, which are characterized by pointed ends and make them easily distinguishable.

These physical traits, along with their agile nature, enable them to traverse tree limbs and navigate through the tropical climates of Southwest Florida.

Why Are They Dangerous to You?

A chewed-on cable with exposed wiring due to rat

Florida palm rats can pose several dangers to homeowners like you, and these may range from health risks to property damage and economic impacts.

Health risks

These crafty rodents may carry diseases that can put your health at risk. Two such ailments are rat bite fever and murine typhus, potentially serious illnesses that can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches from infected tree rats.

Additionally, exposure to their droppings can pose a health hazard. It's crucial to exercise caution when dealing with potential infestations to avoid these health risks.

Property damage

Roof rats are notorious for their destructive tendencies when it comes to properties. One common behavior is their inclination to chew on electrical wires. This seemingly innocuous behavior can have serious consequences, potentially leading to short circuits, electrical device damage, or even fire hazards.

Economic impact

Tree rats can have a significant economic impact. They are known to invade agricultural products and storage facilities, where they consume stored foods. This unwelcome presence can result in substantial financial losses, affecting not only individual homeowners but also businesses involved in food storage and distribution.

Signs They Are in Your Home

Gnaw marks on a box made by rats

To effectively protect your property from tree rat infestations, it's crucial to be vigilant and watch out for these telltale signs, as early detection can make all the difference in addressing the issue promptly:

Roof rat droppings

Keep an eye out for rat droppings, as they serve as one of the most reliable indicators of tree rat presence. These droppings are typically small in size, dark in color, and pointed at both ends.

You may discover them in areas where tree rats frequently roam. Common places to find droppings include attics, basements, secluded corners of your home, or around the base of fruit trees.

Gnaw marks

Inspect various surfaces, both inside and outside your home, for gnaw marks. Tree rats possess strong teeth that leave distinctive marks on wires, fruits, wood, and other objects they encounter. The presence of gnaw marks can signify an ongoing infestation and should prompt immediate action to address the issue.

Scratching noises

Listen carefully for scratching or rustling noises, especially during the nighttime hours. Tree rats are nocturnal creatures and tend to be most active when it's dark. These sounds may originate from the upper levels of your home, such as attics or crawlspace.

If you hear such noises, it's essential to investigate further, as they could indicate the presence of roof rats within your living space.

How Can You Get Rid of Roof Rats?

Protecting your property from a roof rat infestation involves a series of preventive measures designed to keep these agile rodents at bay. Here are effective strategies for getting rid of them and safeguarding your home:

Block entry points

Is your home next to trees or other outdoor structures? Make sure these do not make direct contact with your property. Maintaining a minimum distance of at least 2 feet can prevent tree rats from easily accessing your home. This spatial barrier acts as an initial defense against their entry.

Remember, these rodents love to climb. They can easily climb up a branch of a tree or part of the structure that leans into your home and get access to it that way.

Protect your trees

Having fruit trees on your property can attract the roof rat to your place. What you need to do is to take measures to discourage tree rats from feasting on your harvest, such as:

  • Trimming fruit trees to prevent contact with structures, fences, wires, or neighboring trees.

  • Pruning the branches. This can expose the tree, which will eliminate possible roof rat hiding spots. Since rats do not like being exposed, removing any cover for them will also reduce the possibility that they will stay in that place.

  • Installing rat guards around the trunks to further deter them from climbing.

Seal gaps and cracks

Conduct a thorough inspection of your property to identify any gaps or cracks that could serve as potential entryways for tree rats. A palm rat infestation usually starts with just one or two of these rodents invading your home. When you seal these openings, you prevent that from ever happening.

Install screens

For areas where you want to allow air circulation while keeping tree rats out, use screens on windows and doors. These screens let in air while creating a barrier that prevents these agile climbers from entering your living spaces.

Call a pest control company

When facing a persistent tree rat infestation that requires expert intervention, it's advisable to reach out to a reputable pest control company. Professionals possess the knowledge, experience, and resources to effectively address and eliminate tree rat infestations.

Pest control experts can conduct thorough assessments of your property, identify the extent of the infestation, and implement targeted strategies for eradication. They may utilize various methods, including traps, baits, and safe removal techniques, tailored to your specific situation.

You can find these professionals throughout Florida, especially in Port St. Lucie and Delray Beach.

Protect Your Haven with Southeast Florida Pest Control

When it comes to safeguarding your Florida home from the relentless threat of tree rats, Southeast Florida Pest Control is your trusted partner. Our expert team is well-versed in the unique challenges posed by these climbing rodents, and we're committed to ensuring your peace of mind.

Don't let tree rats compromise your property's safety and your family's well-being. Contact Southeast Florida Pest Control today at 561-488-1104 and let us tailor a comprehensive pest management plan that suits your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of tree rats in Florida?

To eliminate tree rats in Florida, it's essential to employ preventive measures such as blocking entry points, protecting your trees, sealing gaps and cracks, and installing screens. Additionally, consider seeking professional help from a reputable pest control company (Southeast Florida Pest Control) for effective eradication. Contact us at 855-507-0857.

What do Florida tree rats eat?

Florida tree rats have a varied diet that includes fruits, but they can consume a range of food items. Their food sources may encompass fruits, stored foods in warehouses, and even electrical wires in some cases.

What do Florida rats look like?

Florida rats, also known as palm rats or roof rats, are characterized by their lighter-colored bellies and pointed ends on their tails. They are agile climbers and adapt well to Florida's tropical climates.


bottom of page