Rat Trap Station

Look up, Monitor, and Bait: 3 Tips to Control Roof Rats

Roof rats are challenging. Much of the control methods for rodents rely on looking down at the ground, placing traps at ground level, and dealing with floor-level issues. Roof rats spend most of the time up high, as the name suggests. To help pest management professionals with roof rat challenges, Ethan Vickery, CEO of VM Products, led the effort to develop the EZ Snap Seeker. “We included two slots on the bottom of the station which allows for zip ties (either vertically or horizontally) to secure to roof rat runways like pipes, trees or rafters. We wanted to give the PMP flexibility to meet these challenges head on.”

The EZ Snap Seeker has two slots on the bottom of the station to secure to roof rat runways

Below are a few tips that can help pest management professionals be more successful when dealing with roof rat eradication and to prevent future issues.

Look up

It seems obvious that roof rats are coming from up high, but as pest management professionals, most of our pest are down lower and we are conditioned to look down. Instead of looking for broken door seals and cracks in the foundation, you have to look up for roof level openings. It’s fairly easy to kneel down and see if a door seal is broken down at the base of a door. It’s a bit more challenging to look up at a high ceiling in a warehouse and try to find small openings that would allow a roof rat to enter. It always helps if you can access the roof and inspect it from the top. That’s not always possible so look for these secondary indications there might be an issue:

  • Vegetation – any vegetation that connects with the outside of the building is a potential pathway for roof rats to run over.
  • Vents and skylights – make sure vents are screen and any upper windows look like they are sealed around the edges
  • Evidence of water leaks – if water has been leaking in, that’s an opening and a roof rat might be able to use it.
  • High “pathways” – including rafters, support beams, conduits, and cables. If these connect the roof to the ground level (or close to ground) these might allow roof rats to travel into the sight.
Any vegetation that connects with the outside of the building is a potential pathway for roof rats to run over.

Monitor

Because roof rats are entering from higher access points, it’s often more challenging for a facility to fix those quickly. It is pretty easy to fix the seals around a dock door, it’s not as easy to remove all the trees touching the outside of the building. Issues allowing roof rat access are typically more expensive and more time consuming to fix for a customer. If a particular issue can’t be fixed right away, monitoring to ensure rats aren’t coming in is essential. Using rat traps like the EZ Snap Seeker is great because these can be placed in higher areas (zip-tied to beams and conduits) and the indicator tie shows if they have been triggered or not. You only have to check the ones that have been triggered. By monitoring which traps are getting activity, you can install additional control measures in those areas. This also helps because you can let the customer know the key access points the rodents are using so they can try to fix those first.

Scientifically designed arched and cored-out entry point allows for large rodents and faster entry. 

Bait

The tricky part about using bait with roof rats is getting it close to where they are. A bait station on the ground isn’t going to get much acceptance by roof rats. They won’t go down to ground level, out of their way, just to go to that bait. If you can get bait stations up high, on the roof, there is a greater chance of the rodents finding it and consuming it. If you can find their pathway from the tree or the line they are coming onto the roof from, put that bait station right in that spot. Remember when using rodenticides to follow all label requirements and use a locked, secured bait station. The EZ Secured Rodent Bait Station is perfect for this because it comes with a universal key for locking and already on a secured concrete block.

Roof rats present a different set of challenges that other rodents because they spend the majority of the time up high in trees and roofs. It’s especially hard to see them, their access points, and control them. By looking up, monitoring, trapping, and baiting carefully and with a different thought process, you can be very successful and have happy customers. For more information on roof rats and management practices and for the best rodent stations for professional use, click here.

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