Pest Library | Roof Rats

Rattus rattus

Roof rat - Rattus rattus
Color: Black
Legs: 4
Shape: Long
Size: 16″ total (6-8″ body plus 6-8″ tail)
Antennae: No
Region: TX, LA, AR, MS, AL, GA, FL, NC, SC, VA, MD, CA, WA, OR
Roof rats get their name from their tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. Ranging in size from 6 to 8 inches in length, not including their tails, they have a very poor vision and are color blind. They do have extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch, and taste.


Roof rats are known for the damage they cause by chewing on materials and eating stored foods.


Roof rats can be found in the upper parts of buildings, and can also be found under, in and around structures. They only need a space of one-half inch to get into buildings.


Roof rats secured their place in history by spreading the highly dangerous bubonic plague. They support many ectoparasites and urinate on food.


To prevent rats from entering a home, seal up any holes or cracks larger than a quarter. Remove sources of moisture and harborage.

* Information courtesy of National Pest Management Association, Inc