Infant Rats - Roof Rat Babies

infant rats


04.30.2005 - I got these infant rats today. I'm working on a rat control job in Longwood, and I've got the whole home sealed. I've trapped two rats, but the customer said that she still heard noises coming from the bottom of one of the walls. I went to her home to inspect, and sure enough, I heard the very faint scratching coming from the bottom of the wall as well. I went up into the attic, but there was no way I could see down that wall void from the attic space. So I got my trusty drywall saw and cut a hole in the wall just above the scratching noise. There, at the bottom of the wall void, was a pile of shredded newspaper and some insulation. I'd uncovered a rat nest! I removed the baby rats, cleared out the nesting debris, sprayed the area, and fixed the hole I cut in the wall.

The above photo is of two infant Roof Rats (rattus rattus) which I guess are probably one, maybe two weeks old. I included a coin in the photo for size reference. Rats grow very quickly, so it's rare to see pinkies like this. They are sexually mature adults within just three months, at which point new rats like the ones shown above are made. Infant rats are, like many mammals, hairless and blind, but within just a few weeks, hair sprouts, the eyes open, and they're running about, chewing on wires and making noise in the night.

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When rats infest your home, it becomes theirs too. They begin to carry out all activities associated with finding a home, including expanding their population. As soon as rats make a home out of your home, they will try to make themselves very comfortable, especially if they are occupying an attic. After invading the attic, for example, they will find secluded spots for their nests and start to reproduce. This pattern is exhibited by most rodents, including roof rats. Thus, when roof rats infest your home, there are bound to be roof rat babies within your home too.

Where do you find roof rat babies?

Simply put, a nest of roof rat babies can be found wherever the adult female rat decides to build a nest. Secluded spots make excellent nesting spots. As a result, you can find a nest of roof rat babies in walls, cabinets, and hidden spots within attics.

Roof rat babies – damage

When they are born, they are initially helpless and are continually nurtured by their mother. From when they are about 3 weeks old, they begin to leave the nest. In this period, they can communicate with their feces and urine as they search for food. However, they cannot be easily trapped in this period, until they are about 4 weeks old. By three months, roof rat babies become independent and do not return to the nest. This is when they can also compound the woes of their hosts.

Roof rat babies – control

The presence of roof rat babies in your home means that you have a serious pest problem. It also means that you should be more strategic in handling the pest problem. Firstly, you do not want to remove the adult rats and leave the babies behind. The helpless creatures will most likely die, and you would then have the carcasses in your home. Finding roof rat babies should get you to reconsider the control measures to include relocating both the adult and baby rats. If you are sure that the adult rats are not around, maybe you removed them without checking whether there are babies, you can make a place for the babies. The plans should cover humanely removing them and ensuring they survive.

Will I find a nest of roof rat babies in my home?

As long as there are adult roof rats on your property, the chances of finding a nest of rat babies are high. This is because roof rats breed all year round. The female can produce litters of 5 to 8 rats three or four times in a year. Considering the time it takes for the rat babies to become independent and the frequency of breeding, there could be a nest of roof rat babies somewhere in your home. Of course, this is subject to having the adults in your home in the first place.

Finding a nest of roof rat babies is not an uncommon experience. Simply remove the adult and baby rats and prevent a re-infestation.

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