Rat Control & Removal in Houston, TX
The roof rat is a common long-tailed rodent of the genus Rattus (Old World rodents) and the subfamily murinae (Murine rodents). The species originated in tropical Asia and spread through the Near East in Roman times before reaching Europe in the 8th Century and spreading with Europeans across the world.
The roof rat (Rattus Rattus) is one of two introduced rats found in the contiguous 48 states. The Norway rat (R. Norvegicus) is the other species and is better known because of its widespread distribution. A third rat species, the Polynesian rat (R. Exulans) is present in the Hawaiian Islands but not on the mainland. Rattus rattus is commonly known as the roof rat, black rat, and ship rat. Roof rats were common on early sailing ships and apparently arrived in North America by that route. This rat has a long history as a carrier of the plague. Three subspecies have been named, and these are generally identified by their fur color: (1) the black rat (R. Rattus Rattus Linnaeus) is black with a gray belly; (2) the Alexandrine rat (R. Rattus Alexandrinus Geoffroy) has an agouti (brownish streaked with gray) back and gray stomach; and (3) the fruit rat (R. Rattus Frugivorus Rafinesque), has an agouti back and white belly. The reliability of using coloration to identify the subspecies is questionable, and little significance can be attributed to subspecies differentiation. In some areas, the subspecies are not distinct because more than one subspecies has probably been introduced and cross-breeding among them is a common occurrence. Roof rats cannot, however, cross with Norway rats or any rodent species.
Seal all openings that provide entry to structures. Rat guards (for overhead utility lines).
Habitat Modification and Sanitation
Practice good housekeeping and facility sanitation. Contain and dispose of garbage and refuse properly. Reduce vegetative cover (for example, trim vines from buildings and fences). Cultural practices in agriculture (weed and brush control, pruning).
Ultrasonic devices have not been proven to provide rat control. Lights and other sounds are of limited value. Visual tools such as model owls, snakes, and cats are of no value.
None are effective.
Anticoagulant rodenticides (slow-acting chronic-type poisons) Brodifacoum (Talon®, Havoc®). Bromadiolone (Maki®, Contrac®). Chlorophacinone (RoZol®). Diphacinone (Ramik®, Ditrac®). Pindone (Pival®, Pivalyn®). Warfarin (Co-Rax®). Toxicants other than anticoagulants (may be acute or chronic poisons) Bromethalin (Assault®, Vengeance®). Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) (Quintox®, Rampage®). Zinc phosphide (Ridall Zinc®, ZP® Rodent Bait).
Structure or commodity fumigation. Burrow fumigants are of limited use.
Snap traps. Box-type kill traps. Live traps. Glue boards.
Limited usefulness where legal and not hazardous.
Cats may occasionally catch roof rats, as will barn owls. Although, predators are of little, if any, value in controlling the rat population.