New Customers:
(866) 395-6319
Current Customers:
(800) 468-7859
• Pest Control
Pest Control
Termite Control
Rodent Control
Lawn Care
Truly Insulation Plus
Most Common Pests
Other Pests
Most Common Pests
Other Pests

Roof Rats

Get Started Today
Schedule an inspection

Roof Rat Facts

  • Weight: 5 to 10 ounces
  • Size: Roof rats are usually about 15 inches long, and have a long hairless tail that can be about 14-1/2 inches long
  • Color: Light black to grey smooth fur on their bodies with off white to grey underbellies
  • Appearance: Appear sleek and graceful with a gray to black smooth coat, large ears/eyes, pointed snout and long hairless tail

Roof Rat Behavior

As their name indicates, roof rats usually nest high above ground in trees, tall overgrown shrubs, or dense vegetation such as ivy. Roof rats are excellent climbers and often access homes by running along tree branches, cables or wires. In buildings, roof rats typically nest in the upper part of structures in enclosed or elevated spaces such as attics, walls, false ceilings, and cabinets. They are very agile and can squeeze through openings only 1/2-inch wide. Roof rats can climb down to a food source.

Roof rats routinely travel up to 300 feet for food. They often can be seen at night running along overhead utility lines or fence tops. They have an excellent sense of balance and use their long tails to steady themselves while traveling along overhead utility lines. They move faster than Norway rats and are very agile climbers, which enables them to quickly escape predators.

Given their history of causing damage (gnawing through wiring, food contamination, etc.) and health problems (vectors for salmonella, murine typhus, etc.), it is important that homeowners understand how to identify roof rats and businesses understand how to protect themselves from these costly pests.


  • Specializes in climbing
  • Can enter structures through trees, power lines
  • Dwells in areas off the ground like attics, wall voids, hollow trees, vine-covered fences

Feeding Habits

  • Has a preference for the sweetness of fruit
  • However, will feed on anything, including pet food
  • Needs water everyday


  • Seal openings greater than ¼" to exclude mice and ½" to exclude rats
  • Use hardware cloth to seal open vents, especially in crawl spaces, attics, and roofs
  • Eliminate waste piles outside of home
  • Make sure garbage containers are sealed tightly
  • Eliminate potential food sources like left over pet food and grains from bird feeders
  • Trim vegetation to prevent from becoming overly dense

Roof Rat Photos

Closeup of Roof Rat
Roof Rat in Trap
Roof Rat
Roof Rat Climbing
Closeup of Roof Rat
Roof Rat in Trap
Roof Rat
Roof Rat Climbing
Latest Rat Updates
The word rodent is derived from the Latin verb rodere, meaning to gnaw, and rats in particular are infamous for their ability to chew through insulation and wiring in your home.
Read Now
Residents in areas of South Carolina are reporting increasing numbers of marsh rats, according to The Island Packet.
Read Now
Rodents may be a big issue for residents heading back to New York City once the streets are free from water and debris.
Read Now
Email This Estimate
Failed to email the estimate!
Characters Left: 1000
I'd also like to receive tips, news and updates from Truly Nolen.
Send Estimate

Refer a Friend

Get rewarded for referring friends to Truly Nolen! Receive $25 off your next service when a friend signs up for 4 Seasons Pest Control Service.*

*New service agreements only, not applicable to special services.

Get Details
Learn About How to Keep Bugs Away and More
Sign up for the Truly Nolen email newsletter.
Sign Up
Failed to sign up for the newsletter!
Please enter a valid email address.
Thank you for signing up for the newsletter!
Chat Now
Call Now
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience. By continuing to use and browse this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.