Most of us at one point have asked or been asked by a friend “if you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?”.
Most people make jokes about not eating a certain burrito, or lament not having asked out that special person in college, but, as a pest control professional, if I had the opportunity to go back in time, I would wait on the Californian waterfronts in the late 1700’s to stop the first Roof Rat from coming off the ships from Asia!
Called “Rattus Rattus” by Scientists, the California Roof Rat isn’t actually Californian, but an invasive species imported from Asia. Also called the Fruit Rat, Tree Rat, Black Rat, or House Rat, the Roof Rat was originally dubbed the “Ship Rat”, arriving from shipments out of Asia in the late 1700’s.
Now. They. Are. EVERYWHERE.
Hear a scratching in your attic? It’s a roof rat. Has the dog food bag been chewed open? It’s a Roof Rat. See a rodent running across the power lines in back? It’s a roof rat. Doing millions of dollars in damage a year in Los Angeles County, the Roof Rat has quickly become Santa Clarita’s most invasive rodent and here’s how to identify it.
First off, if you hear them in your attic, it’s a roof rat. They’ve adapted to above-ground living areas safe from grounded predators like bobcats while staying protected from aviary predators like barn owls and hawks.. Easily confused with mice at a young age due to its smaller size, the Roof Rat’s dominant characteristic is its tail.
Used to balance while running, jumping, and diving, the tail of a roof rat is longer than its body and it used for balance as the roof rat does everything short of being a flying squirrel. Able to jump long distances, there are few vulnerabilities in Santa Clarita Architecture that the Roof Rat cannot infest and the cost of infestation may be dangerous.
Originally carrying the Black Plague throughout Europe, the Roof Rat hasn’t retired its disease spreading talents.
Currently Roof Rats are noted as carrying over 64 different diseases, including salmonella, HantaVirus, leptospirosis, and more. If you suspect you may have roof rats, check out these other articles on How to Control Roof Rats or call me at the office at 661-BUG-7575 for help.
About Cardon Ellis
Cardon Ellis (Structural Pest Control Operator License #12256) is a 30+ year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley and 10+ year veteran of Santa Clarita Pest Control. Co-founding Unipest Termite and Pest Control with his father in 2009, Cardon enjoys the science, art, and humor of Eco-Friendly pest and termite control. He loves the smell of Orange Oil in the morning. Cardon Can be reached anytime at 661-284-7575 or visit www.unipest.com
The Santa Clarita pest and termite control company Unipest is the premiere residential and commercial pest control company for Los Angeles County. If you’re looking for pest or termite control in Santa Clarita or surrounding areas, Unipest prides itself on being your one-stop solution, and offer orange oil treatments, bee hive removal, fumigation, escrow inspections, removal of bed bugs, organic pest control and more. Residents and business owners are encouraged to call Unipest for immediate assistance!