Roof rats are only as dangerous as you allow them to be. When you take steps to deter roof rat activity on your property, you reduce the ability of these animals to impact your health and property. Let's take a look at a few dangers West Chester residents should be aware of when it comes to roof rats, and discuss solutions that can reduce the risk.

black rat in basement
black rat on deck boards

Roof Rats Can Damage Your Roof

While roof rats can get into your home by way of low entry points, they're most likely to target your roof, soffits, roof penetration seals, or an unprotected chimney. These animals have strong teeth that can chew through wood and other building materials. It is a good idea to keep them off your roof. The damage they do up there won't just let them gain access to your home, it could allow rainwater to get inside as well. 

  • Trim branches away from your roofline to keep roof rats from climbing trees and jumping down onto your roof.

  • Put wire mesh in your downspouts to prevent rats from climbing up through your gutter system.

  • Consider installing a chimney cap if you don't have one. This can keep roof rats from climbing into your home through your chimney. If roof rats get into your home, they can damage interior building materials and stored items.

  • If you see a spot where roof rats have been chewing on your roofline, you could bolster your defenses by installing metal flashing or hardware cloth over the spot.

Roof Rats Carry Ticks And Fleas

When these animals come into your yard, they can drop ticks and fleas as they explore. This can present a problem if you have a dog or cat. It can also present an issue for you, especially if roof rats bring ticks and fleas into your home. If you're thinking, " thanks," then here are a few tips to help you address this problem.

  • Ticks and fleas require moisture to survive. If you address moist conditions around your property, it can help to make it resistant to these pests. We recommend having your gutters cleaned, and managing your landscaping to keep things open and dry.

  • If you invest in a residential pest control program that provides coverage for ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and other common yard pests, it can make a big difference. 

Roof Rats Can Contaminate Food

When roof rats get into a home, they sometimes go in and out of attic spaces and feed on foods that are outside the home. If this is the case, there is less chance of food contamination. But, if they find their way into your pantry or kitchen, they can create an issue and present a health risk.

  • Check your food-storage areas routinely. Search for access holes created in walls and baseboards. Seal them when you find them.

  • Consider storing your food in sealed, hard plastic containers, particularly if they come in paper, cardboard, or thin plastic packaging.

  • Good sanitation and proper management of trash can help to prevent roof rats from picking up harmful bacteria.

Roof Rats Don't Typically Bite, But They Can

If you discover a roof rat in your attic, it is best to contact a licensed pest management professional to handle this pest problem. While roof rats aren't aggressive animals, they can get spooked or be frightened when you do something that makes them feel uneasy. Don't try to corner one or catch one.


A roof rat is a wild animal. If they find their way into your home, you're going to have a mess to clean up. They aren't going to go outside to do their business. If you find roof rats nests, wear a mask and protective clothing during clean up. This will prevent you from being exposed to bacteria or airborne contaminants.

Keep Roof Rats Outside

If you notice black rats in your yard, be aware that those black rats are roof rats. Brown rats are Norway rats. These rats have different behavior patterns. Roof rats like to climb and get into high places. Norway rats like to burrow in the ground and stay in low places. At the first sign of black rats in your yard, apply the tips given in this article and take the time to seal any gaps, cracks, and holes in your exterior. If you do, you may have little or no trouble with these animals. If they're persistent, remember that the service team here at Masters Touch Pest Solutions is available to assist you with rodent control. While roof rats aren't particularly dangerous, it is best to deter them from entering your home.

West Chester Pest Control

The best solution for roof rats, Norway rats, and other West Chester pests is ongoing pest management around your home. Reach out to us today and ask us about Exterior Home Solution, Healthy Home Solution, and Tick & Mosquito Solution. We can help you find the right solution for your West Chester home. 


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