Types of Rats in The Tampa Bay Area and How to Get Rid of Them

May 19th, 2021

rat eating leftover on the floor

If you are finding rodent droppings in your house, hearing noises in the attic, or finding gnawing marks in furniture or cords, you may suspect rats. But do you know which kind? Here, we briefly summarize the three common types of rats in the Tampa Bay area and how to get rid of them with a Tampa rat exterminator.

Roof Rats

Roof rats are also known as palm rats or fruit rats. They are the most common in the Tampa Bay Area as they prefer tropical weather. In fact, they are often called palm rats because they usually climb and nest off palm trees. They are also called fruit rats since their main source of food is fruit.

These rodents generally will enter your house through the roof; hence the name roof rats. They are fairly small (5-8 inches) and nocturnal, so that’s when you are most likely to hear them scurrying around.

They will eat anything, but often prefer fruit and nuts so if you notice them missing or bitten into, that may be a sign of roof rats.

Norway Rats

If you’ve ever been to New York City, you’ve probably encountered a Norway rat. These are rats you’ll likely find in sewers, streets, and subway stations. If they do make it into your home in Florida, you will probably find them in crawl spaces.

Norway rats prefer to live outside, so you are more likely to see them rooting around your garden than your home. They usually only find their way into homes when they can’t find a food source outside.

These rats are more aggressive and much larger than roof rats. Their usual size is 16 inches including the tail and they don’t have a preference for fruit and nuts. If you are willing to eat it, a Norway rat probably is, too!

Wood Rats

Are you noticing missing coins, foil, or bottle caps? It could be a wood rat! They are aptly also named “pack rats” because they like hoarding bright, shiny objects in their nests. They have acquired the name “trade rats” as well because they’ll often leave whatever they were carrying before and replace it with a new, shinier object.

You are more likely to find roof rats and Norway rats in your home than wood rats, but it is still possible

Rat Removal

Regardless of the type of rat you find in your home, it’s important to find a Tampa rat exterminator knowledgeable on how to remove them! We don’t advise trying to handle rats with DIY solutions as there are many dangers associated with it. Instead, hire a professional to ensure effective removal and prevention. Here is a brief explanation of how rat removal services work:

  • Inspection: Equipment is used to identify and confirm that rats are living on your property.
  • Sealing & Prevention: All access points to your home are sealed to prevent recurrent infestation. The material used is often durable so rats can’t chew through it.
  • Trapping and elimination: Traps and baits are set to capture the rats. Sometimes rodenticides are used when these are ineffective, or the population is very high.
  • Decontamination: Clean up is required to prevent bacteria and disease from spreading

Have Rats in Your Property?

Contact a Tampa rat exterminator today and get started with rat removal services! At Alford Wildlife, we specialize in rodent removal and have certified professionals best equipped to get the job done right.

Avoid recurrent infestation and ineffective DIY methods. Contact our St. Pete office and get a free quote on your rat removal services!



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