Palm rats, also known as roof rats are a common SW Florida pest, in fact if you suspect a rodent infestation in your home or business it is most likely palm rats. They are most often found in trees; quite often palm trees, which is where they get their name.
These pesky rodents not only harbor in trees, but also use them as a travel system, most often to the roof of your home. Once on your roof they start looking for opportunities to breach your home, and that’s how you end up lying awake in your bed at night listening to palm rats running in your attic and gnawing on your walls.
Palm Rats cause damage both inside and outside of your home
Gardens and garbage cans draw roof rats to your property, especially when your plants and trees grow fruit. The damage inside of your home can be even worse. They will chew through wires and boxes in your pantry looking for places to nest and food to eat. Palm rats can also be a health hazard as their fecal droppings and urine can often affect the air quality and livability of your home or business.
What do palm rats look like?
They have dark colored pelts: dark brown, black, or grey. They also have light colored bellies.
Signs of Palm Rats in and around your home
- Roof rats love fruit, so be on the lookout for citrus skin droppings with teeth marks
- Noises in your attic or walls (especially during nighttime hours)
- Those tell-tale rat droppings
- Smudge marks on your exterior walls from roof rats running against them
- You see gnaw marks on your trees, or palm rats in trees at night
I think I have palm rats! What do I do now?
Don’t leave any open food containers out, especially vegetables, fruits, and grains. Consider keeping cereal and snacks in air-tight containers. Keep openings to your house well sealed (keep doors closed, screens repaired, sliders shut, weather seals fresh). If trees are close to your home, you may want to trim them back, as palm rats often enter your home by jumping from trees to your roof. If they gain access to your roof, there may be multiple access points that need to be inspected and sealed as well.
Look for a local pest control company with experience in palm rat extermination. Palm rat control is a two-part system. Rodent exclusion is necessary to discover all potential entrance points and seal them to avoid another infestation. Then removal of any active rodents inside the structure is the last step to full control.