Where Do Roof Rats Live During the Day?

If you have heard scurrying or scratching sounds above you during the night, then there is a good chance that you could have a roof rat infestation. Not only is this very disconcerting, but rats pose a serious problem to human health. Where do roof rats live during the day? The answer is not as obvious as the name suggests. Today we will tell you all about roof rat behavior and how you can get rid of them easily.

What is a Roof Rat?

The name ‘roof rat’ is somewhat of a misnomer. “Roof rat” is a colloquial name given to the black rat, or to use its official name “Rattus rattus”. They are so-called because they have an innate ability to climb well, meaning they can access higher areas in your home, such as roofs and attic spaces.

Roof rats are known to be disease carriers and represent a real health hazard. In the past, they have been responsible for massive outbreaks of disease. The proof they are good climbers is that historically, they have been able to climb ropes to get aboard ships, even causing things like Bubonic Plague!

Are Rats Active During the Day?

Rats’ behavior is nocturnal. This means that they are most active during the hours of darkness. For this reason, you won’t often hear or see them during the day. If you do, this means you could have a large number of rats residing in your property as they seldom come out during these times unless forced by overcrowding.

Where Do Roof Rats Live During the Day?

Roof rats don’t just live in roofs. In fact, the black rat will inhabit any area that it finds favorable. These tend to be darker, quieter areas and can include:



Store Rooms

Outdoor spaces like garages and sheds

Burrows underneath your porch


Rats will always make their nest close to a good supply of food and water.

How Do Roof Rats Gain Access to Your Home?

Roof rats have excellent climbing abilities and, as a result, can find it quite easy to reach the upper levels of your home.

They can climb trellises, ivy, vines, and even rough brickwork to reach your roof.

Black rats are aerial masters and have been known to scurry along communication wires or trees that overhang your property.

What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Roof Rats? 6 Solutions

There are several ways that you can reduce or remove roof rats from your home. Let’s take a look at 6 great solutions that you might want to consider: –

Remove Access

If roof rats can’t get access to the areas they normally inhabit, they will go elsewhere, so this should be your first port of call if you have an isolated problem or want to prevent roof rat inhabitation from reoccurring.

As we discussed above, roof rats are excellent climbers, so you need to make sure that there are no overhanging branches giving access to your property. It might not be practical to remove communication lines. However, you can seal holes with fine mesh to prevent rats from gaining access to the inside of your property, even if they can reach it from the outside.

Remove Sources of Food and Water

Rats tend to take up residence whenever they can easily source food and water nearby. This doesn’t have to be inside your property either. Often rats will nest in the relative warmth and then venture outside to feed in the evening and nighttime.

Here are some things you need to look at and address: –

Garbage piles and compost heaps.

Standing water in things like dog bowls and paddling pools

Rotting fruit dropped from fruit trees

Kitchen waste

Waste disposal pipes and drains

Interestingly it is also worth checking your roof space for birds nests and bees nests. Both provide rats with a steady source of food. Check here to read more about bee nest removal.

Rat Traps

If you have failed to prevent access, then it is time to take a more hands-on approach.

Rat traps can be a really effective way to kill rats. However, be sure to check them often, so you don’t end up with decomposing dead rodents in your living area.

Peanut butter and meat-based dog food both make a really effective rat trap bait. Use rubber gloves when baiting your rat traps. Black rats are particularly averse to human scents.


If you prefer more passive rat control, poison could be a great option. However, it does come with its downsides. First, it isn’t suitable if you have other animals living in your home. Second strong rat poison isn’t always easy to acquire and requires specialist knowledge.

Finally, rats can grow accustomed to poisons over time, meaning they are less effective.

Ultrasonic Devices

If the idea of dealing with dead rats fills you with dread, consider a non-lethal solution. It is possible to buy ultrasonic devices that emit a high-pitched frequency to deter rats. However, they don’t remove the cause of the problem.

Furthermore, they can be hard to install in hard-to-reach areas, which often form the ideal habitat for roof rats.

Pest Control for Rat Removal

One of the quickest and best solutions to remove roof rats from your home is to contact a professional pest control company. Any successful company will have extensive experience in dealing with and removing rats.

They will be able to attend to your home, make an inspection, and decide on how severe your rat problem is. Once a company has this information, they will be in a good place to advise you further and suggest the most effective form of removal.

Facility Pest Control, serving the California area, has great expertise in rat control and removal. With over 15 years of experience in removing rats and rodents, we can offer a solution that is guaranteed to be both quick and highly effective. Why not take a look at the areas that Facility Pest Control Covers in California, or, alternatively, contact us for further information.