SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Savannah is the most roof rat-infested city in the country according to stats gathered by national pest control experts at Terminix after polling more than 300 store branches across the United States.
Crawling into your home - and perhaps under your skin - roof rats have been and will continue to be a part of our environment. Small in stature, the pests can cause big problems and lots of damage to your home especially as we head into the colder months.
"The colder it gets, they're going to want to get warm, just like us," said Mike McKenzie, who is part of the Yates-Astro Pest Control team.
McKenzie was part of a team from Yates-Astro called to help rat-proof a home on Skidaway Island.
"It was quite loud, quite distinctive," homeowner Karen Angers said.
Angers heard what sounded like a few pests battling it out in her attic recently. That was enough to prompt her to call in the pest control experts.
"We never realized that they could be getting up that high and coming in that way," she said.
Experts say roof rats only need about a quarter-sized hole to get into your home. And that can be from the roof and attic space, all the way down to your air conditioning.
"The other bad place is around the dryer vents. They'll chew around those and then they can go in there and they chew on the line on the inside. And they have instant access to the house," McKenzie said.
The top roof rat ranking for Savannah isn't a surprise to McKenzie, and it should serve as a little motivation to stay ahead of any infestations.
"Frightening, to think that they're in your home right above your head," Angers said.
The top 15 cities for roof rats in 2017 are:
- Savannah, Ga.
- Memphis, Tenn.
- Miami, Fla.
- Sacramento, Calif.
- Fort Myers, Fla.
- Los Angeles, Calif.
- Tampa, Fla.
- Dallas, Texas
- San Diego, Calif.
- San Francisco, Calif.
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- Houston, Texas
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- San Antonio, Texas