Are you getting strange scratching, deafening, or scrapping noises from your roof? It’s probably the nocturnal mammals staying in your property rent-free. These pests not only irritate you and give you sleepless nights but also are liable to multiple life-threatening diseases through food contamination. Well, it could either be a rat or a possum, each having its specific extermination process. In case you are wondering is it a possum or rat in my roof, this write-up is a must-read for you. Here, we are gonna disclose all the features, even the most minute ones that can help you distinguish a rat from a possum, making the extermination process easy, convenient, and hassle-free for you. With no more delay, let’s dive into it!
Is it a possum or rat in my roof: Aspects that sets apart a rat from a possum
Killing possums is against the law in Australia, so if you harm a marsupial mistaking it for a rat, you can indulge yourself in serious legal conflicts. To be honest, with bare eyes, both rats and possums appear pretty similar, but if you look closely you can find out the below-listed differences:
Size of the two
At a quick glance, both rats and possums could look exactly the same, but you can tell them apart by their size. A Rat has a medium-sized body with a long hairless, skinny tail whereas possums are pretty big in size and have long bushy tails. Generally, depending on the habitat, a possum could measure around 2.5 ft in length and 1.7-14 lbs in weight. Well, the brown rats could be big, but it comes no nearer to the size of a possum. On average, brown rats can grow up to somewhere around 0.5 to 1lbs.
Difference in appearance
Possums and rats appear very different when you know them well. Rats are usually slender and have a general rodent-like physical appearance. The brown rats that are mostly mistaken as a possum due to their physical similarities have grey or dark brown fur with pink ears and feet and a long hairless tail. If it is a fancy rat, it will have a piebald, silver, or whitish-grey body. Possums generally have big grey bodies, some having white or brown coloured speckles in them. Unlike rats, possums have black ears. The latter has a prehensile hairless tail, which they can control and use as an appendage.
Noises both make
The noises you hear from your attic or roof tell much about the pest residing there. If you put a little more stress on your cochlea, you can easily differentiate the sound of a rat from that of a possum. Rats usually make a bustling or scuttering noise when their claws touch the cavity of your room.
On the other hand, possums are larger in size and make more scratching noises while running across your roof. Moreover, possums can also be spotted with their high-pitched, screechy calling sounds. Additionally, possums are nocturnal, so if you hear sounds at midnight or dawn, it is definitely a possum. Whereas rats leap in excitement making thud sounds all time of the day.
Droppings and urine stain
Though this aspect could sound a little disgusting, the droppings and urine stain can give you a clear idea when you wonder if is it a rat or possum on your roof. Possums love to stay in a single place, by making a hole through a plasterboard, so their urine stains and droppings are likely to be noticed in a small cluster area where they stay and sleep.
Contrastingly, rats move constantly unless they are nesting. So, you can find their dropping scattered here and there in your attic. Also, compared to rats, possums urinate more and the stains are deep. Moreover, rat droppings appear thin, small, and pellet alike but possum droppings are bigger.
The response each pest makes
There is a fantastic way with which you can find out whether it’s a rat or a possum i.e., the manner by which they respond to human presence. Rats are tiny secretive and clever pests that immediately stop their activities and hide when they sense a human presence. But possums are different. They keep munching on their food or keep making sounds for a few more minutes even after sensing the presence of humans.
Damage made by both
Identifying the type of damage made by the pest is another fine trick of judging if is it a possum or rat in my roof. Rats have smaller claws than possums, so you can easily differentiate the mammals through the scratch marks on the walls. In addition to that, the entrance holes could also state the difference: the big holes are for possums, and the comparatively small ones are for rats.
The apple test
If after all these efforts, you still can’t figure out if it is a rat or a possum, worry not cause you still have your trump card left to use, the apple test! To conduct the test, all you need to do is place an apple in your attic or roof where the animals make their routine visit. Leave it for the entire night and assess the findings the next morning. If the apple goes missing or most of its part is eaten, then it is clearly a possum. If you find gnaw marks or teeth marks on the fruit in your house, it could be a rat.
Both rats and possums can cause structural damage and health hazardous, so no matter which pest between the two has nested inside your roof, you must take immediate action in discarding them from your property Hopefully, there is no more doubt in understanding that is it a possum or rat in my roof and even if there is, professional possum removal experts are ready to serve you at your doorstep. So, take your phone and ring up now to schedule an inspection program today.