Roof Rats Are A Problem In Phoenix
Third only to scorpions and termites, roof rats are the biggest pest to plague the Phoenix area. If you spot these critters in or around your home, call a Phoenix exterminator right away, as roof rats can cause a lot of damage and spread disease.
Roof rats are essentially black rats, and they got their name for spreading the bubonic plague to Europe. This has earned them a reputation for being the world’s most widespread species. They live among us, and they particularly like to live in attics – hence their name. They’re smart in that they have adapted to the desert lifestyle and can thrive in any conditions.
Gilbert and Tempe happen to be in the top five destinations for roof rats across the country. The big draw for roof rats here is the abundance of citrus trees that dot the backyards of many homeowners in Arizona. Those trees provide them with a consistent food source, while they make their homes in attics in peace, generally undisturbed by humans.
Roof Rat Infestation
Researchers have found that roof rats get into homes in a variety of ways. They are most active at night and they like the cooler months. Thus, most of their movement happens between dawn and dusk. They prefer not to move around during the hottest parts of the day.
They have become experts at scurrying up to high places, scampering along power lines and up brick and stucco exteriors. When they get where they want to be, they can squeeze into any space so long as it’s larger than a nickel.
Roof rats can potentially be dangerous, as they are disease carriers. They used to carry the plague, but now they usually just carry typhus, jaundice, rat-bite fever and salmonellosis, all of which can be spread to humans through urine, droppings, fleas, and bites.
If you come upon a roof rat in its nest, back away, leave it alone and call a Phoenix pest control technician.
Preventing Roof Rats
The best way to keep roof rats out of your home is to deny them access to food, water, and shelter. Keep your yard clean, remove food waste, and seal off entry points. Check your attic often, as this is where they like to hide. However, they can also hide out in wood piles, storage boxes, shrubs, garages and storage sheds.
Make sure to pick up fallen oranges, grapefruit, and lemons from those citrus trees in your backyard, as this is their main food source. They also like seeds, nuts, roaches, snails, crickets, and human food waste.
Don’t let standing water accumulate in your yard. Repair irrigation line leaks to prevent pooling and remove your pets’ water bowls when not in use.
Common Signs Of Roof Rats
The most common signs that you have roof rats include:
- Dead rats around your property
- Fallen, half-eaten fruit
- Noises and scratching in the attic
- Odd pet behavior (staring at the ceiling, etc.)
Call Frontino Pest Control
If you spot any of the signs of roof rat infestation, call Frontino Pest Control at 602-338-9223. Our Mesa AZ exterminators would be happy to visit your home and address the problem.