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APPEARANCE

Black or brown, can be over 40 cm long, with a long tail, large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose. Body is smaller and sleeker than the Norway rat’s. Fur is smooth.

REPRODUCTION

Becomes sexually mature between two and five months, producing four to six litters per year that consist of six to eight young each. Lives up to one year. Roof rats are prodigious breeders. Females can breed year-round. Within a year, one female may be responsible for up to 40 new rodents.

SIGNS OF ROOF RAT INFESTATION

Visual sightings of live or dead rodents indicate rodent activity. If roof rats are seen exposed, it often indicates their hiding spaces are all filled by other rats or that they have been disturbed, such as by construction. Droppings are another good indicator of roof rat activity. Roof rat droppings are 12 to 13 mm with pointed ends, whereas Norway rat droppings are 18 to 20 mm and capsule shaped. Other indicators can include grease marks along surfaces as well as nests.  Grease marks are produced as the rodent travels along an edge, and the oils in their fur are deposited. Indoor nests usually are constructed in insulation such as in attics.