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There are numerous species of rats found within the United States, but in this article, we will focus on the three most common types of rats found in Florida. Total Pest Services is a company based in Orlando, FL that specializes in rat removal services. Below on this page, you can find everything you need to know about rats.

Types of Rats in Florida

Rats can cause extensive property damage as they build nests and chew their way through electric wires, wood, drywall, and more. However, this is not the only type of damage rats can cause as they are known for spreading serious diseases to humans and other animals. While all species of rats are pretty similar, here are the three main types found in Florida.

#1. Roof Rats
roof rats
Roof rats are also commonly referred to as black rats. Adults range in weight from about 5 to 10 ounces. They have a tail longer than the rest of their body. Both the body and the tail are uniformly dark-colored, while the underside of their body is grayish to white

#2. Norway Rats
Norway Rat
Also referred to as brown or sewer rats, the Norway rats are larger than the roof rats. They can grow to lengths of about 13-16 inches and weight about 7-18 ounces. Their body tops are grayish-brown to black, while the underside of their bodies is primarily gray.

#3. Pack Rats (Woodrats)
pack rat (aka woodrat)
The woodrats are more commonly found in the northern parts of Florida, but we have decided to dedicate a paragraph to them as they have also been seen in Orlando and the surrounding areas. They are about the same size as the Norway rats, but their body colors may range from gray to black, with hints of red or brown.

Rat in a kitchen

The Danger of Rats

Rats cause structural damage to buildings. They undermine building foundations and may also gnaw on wires and pipes. Not only do rats cause extensive property damage but they are also annoying and dirty. Contacting a professional rat exterminator is important if you want to eliminate the risk of transmitting diseases. Here are the most common diseases carried by rats:

  • Plague
  • Colorado Tick Fever
  • Rat-Bite Fever
  • Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
  • Leptospirosis
  • Salmonellosis
lawn with house

Signs of Rat Infestation

  • Observation – If seen during the day, this usually indicates a very large rodent population nearby.
  • Burrows or Nests – An obvious sign of an infestation is holes in the ground around foundations and nests in attics or trees.
  • Sounds – A clear indication that you need proper rat control is a scratching noise coming from within the walls.
  • Gnaw Marks – Rats maintain their sharp teeth by chewing and gnawing on wood, plastic, and other hard surfaces.
  • Rub Marks – Rats often dispose of body oils on corners and edges of walls and around holes and gaps they use to enter a wall void.
  • Droppings – It’s a good practice to remove old feces and inspect to see if new droppings were deposited.

The Solution

We, at Total Pest Services, don’t recommend DIY methods as different rat species are different in their habits and behavior. Not only does professional rat removal require correct identification of the rat species, but inexperienced people tend to use methods that are not really working.

The biggest myth about dealing with rat infestations is the use of mothballs. They contain a chemical called naphthalene, and its amount is enough to deter moths and other insects but not enough to exterminate rats. If there is one thing to remember about mothballs and rats, it is that rats and humans have almost the same tolerance to naphthalene, which means that if this is safe for you, it won’t harm rats, either.

Our advice is not to try one of these DIY remedies on the market and to call us for a professional rat control service today!

If You’ve Got Pests, Then Call the Best!