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Black rats have long been named as the cause of the Black Death of the Middle Ages. While this plague is no longer as serious a threat to humans, roof rats are still carriers of disease. They may transfer diseases to both human and domestic animals.
The first step in controlling a roof rat infestation is to properly identify the rodents. Roof rats have hairless, scaly tails that are longer than their head and bodies. These rats are nocturnal and are excellent climbers. They leave oily marks on walls and dwell most commonly in attics or ceilings of buildings.
To prevent a colony from nesting in your home, make sure that all the windows and vents are screened. Roof rats can also enter openings in walls, eaves and roof from the branches of trees. Trim all tree branches to further prevent entry.