Florida Rats: What You Need to Know

It’s the Year of the Rat, which makes it a perfect time to go over the three of the most common types of rats in Florida. These rodents have the potential to cause extensive property damage as well as threaten human health. 

  1. Different Types of Rats Found in Florida

Roof Rat: Known more as the palm rat, these rodents are the most common type of rat found in South Florida. Roof rats are exceptional climbers and prefer to be higher up, usually making their nests in attics or roof beams. These rats have black or dark brown fur, long tails, and big eyes and ears. Roof rats typically grow between 3 inches to 8 inches in length. Female roof rats can have up to 20 offspring and can live between 2 to 3 years. Rodent infestation should be taken care of as soon as the problem is found.

Norway Rat: These rats prefer to live outdoors, although they may venture indoors when they can’t find available food or water. Norway rats are burrowers, so when they do have nests indoors, they are likely found in spaces low to the ground, such as basements or crawl spaces. Bigger than the roof rats, Norway rats can grow to 6 or 8 inches in length. They have shaggy gray or brown fur, and their ears and tails are scaled.

Woodrats: More likely to be found in Northern Florida, woodrats are about the same size as Norway rats. When they are in South Florida, these pests mostly inhabit coastal and canal areas. Woodrats have gray or black fur that can have hints of red and brown. Unlike roof rats and Norway rats, woodrats have ears and tails that are furry, rather than scaly. They are sometimes referred to as “Pack Rats,” because they tend to steal small items.  

  1.               Signs of Rats at Home

Being able to identify the signs of a rodent infestation will help you stop it from getting any worse. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Sounds of scratching or movement around your home, especially in the attic around nighttime
  • Hollowed out fruit in your kitchen or outdoors
  • The appearance of rat droppings
  • Gnaw marks on your roofs, furniture, or electrical wires
  • Foot tracks or grease trails around your home
  1.               Dangers of a Rodent Infestation

Rats can chew their way through drywall, wood, electrical wires and more, costing you extensive repair bills and frustrations. When rats get inside, they can cause a lot of damage not just to your property. While rats do not typically carry rabies, they can adversely affect the health of you and your family. Rats can spread numerous diseases to humans directly (contact with rodents and their feces, saliva, or urine) and indirectly (through fleas or ticks that have fed on an infected rat). Rat droppings and urine around your home also can affect the air quality and livability of your home.

The best and safest strategy to handle a rodent infestation is with a licensed professional. At Coastal Lawn & Pest, we know how to get rid of these rats and other pests and make sure your house is safe from further intrusion. Call us today at 239-230-7020 and ask about our personalized pest control plans!