Rat Control

rat extermination nearby fairfaxThere are many different species of rat found within the United States, but the most frequent purveyors of home and health damage are the norway rat and the roof rat. One important piece of information about these two distinct breeds are the fact that they’re known by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as potential carriers of the dangerous hantavirus. This means that, when it comes to control and prevention of these two varieties of rat, it is particularly important because of the public health risk they can pose.

Norway Rats

These rats are sometimes referred to as sewer rats, common rats, or brown rats. They distinctly small eyes and ears, as well as shorter tails. Their coloring varies between shades of gray, brown, and black, while their size can be as small as 6 inches to as large as 9 inches in length. They’re excellent climbers and often enter homes in the fall when outside food sources become scarce.


Rats can chew through wiring and furniture, causing fires and costly damage to homes. They are also known carriers of diseases including jaundice, rat-bite fever, the cowpox virus, trichinosis, and more.


Keep firewood stored well away from the structure. Remove debris piles. Seal any holes larger than 1/4 inch. Remove moisture and harborage sources.

Roof Rats

Roof rats get their name from their tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. Ranging in size from 6 to 8 inches in length, not including their tails, they have very poor vision and are color blind. They do have extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste, however. The are found all over in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Roof rats are known for the damage they cause by chewing on materials and both contaminating and eating stored foods. They only need a space of one-half inch to get into buildings.


Roof rats secured their place in history by spreading the highly dangerous bubonic plague. They’re still potential carriers of a wide variety of ectoparasites and disease pathogens and can spread those as well as general filth onto food and health surfaces via their paws.


To prevent rats from entering a home, seal up any perimeter holes or cracks larger than a quarter. Remove sources of standing moisture and stay on top of cleanliness in areas where food prep occurs. Take away the food, shelter, and water that draws them in and they’ll be more likely to search for sustenance elsewhere.

Did you know that My Pest Pros has been rated among the Top 50 rodent control companies in the nation? Contact us today if you suspect you have a rat problem and we’ll be happy to provide you with a free service quote.