Important Information About Roof Rats and Fruit Rats in Florida

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A Cautionary Tale: The importance of snakes in rat control was made clear in the following report: A dog kennel worker took it upon himself to eliminate all of the snakes at his place of work. Once the rat snakes had been killed, the roof rat population exploded. It took two years, hundreds of people-hours, and thousands of dollars to get control of the rats and repair the structural damage the rats had caused. This does not include the hundreds of pounds of dog food the rats ate and contaminated. The economic cost of removing the rats' natural predators was obvious.

Raptors, hawks and owls, especially barn owls, are very effective at killing roof rats. Keeping the area around fruit trees open makes hunting easier for birds of prey.
Cats and Dogs? Many people believe that cats and dogs will keep rats out of their yards and fruit trees. But, because roof rats are so arboreal, they are usually able to get into attics and fruit trees without ever coming to the ground. Rats quickly learn safe travel routes through yards to avoid terrestrial predators. Cats will kill dispersing juvenile rats, but are rarely able to handle an adult roof rat within its own territory.

Many claims are made about ultrasonic and electromagnetic devices' repelling rodents from buildings and yards. There is no evidence that these devices will or can drive rodents from their home range. There is evidence that ultrasonic devices can cause hearing loss in pets, especially dogs.

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