Rats are native to forested areas in Asia, but transported into Europe by caravans in the 11th Century. Rats (and the fleas they hosted) were responsible for the Black Death of the 14th Century. Rats arrived in the United States somewhere in the 1500s. The most common Rat in San Diego County is the Roof Rat and prefer to live in trees and attics. They are nocturnal and secretive, hiding in landscaped environments. They feed heavily on fruits, nuts, vegetables, or garden snails found in these environments. Rats are shy about new objects, and may avoid traps. Life expectancy is approximately one year. The gestation period of the female is 22 days, litters average 8 to 9 pups, and she may have 3 to 4 litters in her one year. Roof Rats carry disease, such as plague (spread by fleas). They are extremely destructive and cause tremendous damage due to their constant gnawing on structural members, pipes, and electrical wires. The Roof Rat has a tail that is noticeably longer than its body length. Its head has a pointed nose, large eyes, and large ears. Its color is dark gray to black with a lighter grayish belly. Exclusion from structures is
of high importance in preventing damage from rat infestation. They can enter through any opening wider than one half inch. Bugs-B-Dead preforms a complete inspection of the house, attic, garage, and yard to determine the entry points and closing any found openings. The full complement of traps and baits are used on rats for optimum control.