Roof rats are a relatively new pest to Arizona but wreak havoc and leave damage wherever they go. These pests are generally smaller than sewer rats, but can grow to be up to 18 inches in length! Roof rats tend to be black, with sleeker bodies than other types of rats. They can be distinguished from other rats by their large ears and pointed faces.
As their name suggests, roof rats are excellent climbers and tend to build their nests above ground instead of in underground burrows like other species of rats and mice do. You might find them in trees and wood piles, but they especially prefer the upper areas of your home where the temperature stays nice and warm. They are commonly found in attics, inside ceilings, and behind walls.
Once roof rats have established themselves inside your home, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of them on your own. Contact an experienced Mesa pest control company to exterminate them.
Roof rats especially like garages, cabinets, laundry rooms, kitchens, patios, and pool areas because they need water in order to thrive. This means you may also find them utilizing bird baths, settling in near leaky pipes or air conditioning drip lines, near potted plants, and even close to pet water bowls. Their need for water means they will even chew through piping inside your home, which can lead to expensive repair and structural damage.
In many ways, roof rats are more like squirrels than rats. They prefer to eat vegetation rather than meat scraps, and often hoard nuts and seeds in their nesting areas to save for later. Roof rats are especially drawn to ornamental plants, dog or cat food, garden vegetables, nuts, seeds, tree bark, paper, candle wax, and even lizards or insects.
Consider these essential tips from Ahwatukee pest control in order to keep these pests out of your home:
Like other rodents, roof rats need places to hide and build their nests, and yard litter is the perfect material. To make it harder for roof rats to build nests, rake up fallen leaves underneath your trees and bushes. Fruit trees should be pruned back so you can see the ground underneath. Firewood should be stored at least 12 inches away from your home’s walls and elevated above the ground.
Roof rats especially like to nest in palm fronds and oleander, so be sure to pick up fallen leaves off the ground and keep your oleander shrubs trimmed.
One of the most effective ways to eradicate and prevent a roof rat infestation with Apache Junction pest services is to eliminate food and water sources. If you have citrus trees, pick up fallen fruit off the ground right away. Clean up after pets and avoid leaving out pet food overnight. Limit bird feeding and clean up food off the ground each evening.
Inside your home, keep foods properly stored in the refrigerator or in airtight containers. Take out the trash daily to a can that is tightly covered and avoid leaving fruit or baked goods on the countertop. Leaking pipes should be addressed by a plumber so that rats won’t have easy access to water.
Even large roof rats can get into your home through an opening as small as a nickel, so it’s imperative to prevent this from happening by carefully sealing any gaps and cracks using stucco diamond mesh or another appropriate material.
With your Chandler pest control technician, inspect the exterior of your home for openings in vulnerable places such as around doors and windows, near dryer and water heater vents, and other vents on the roof. Inside your home, examine around the dishwasher and underneath sinks. Use caulk or another sealant around cracks, and install mesh across gutter downspouts and other vents to prevent rats from being able to get into your home.
Bait traps with peanut butter and set them in strategic locations such as the laundry room, kitchen, outside sheds, or anywhere else you’ve seen roof rats. It’s important to keep traps away from places where children or pets can find them. Because roof rats are wary of unfamiliar objects, it’s most effective to leave the traps in position for several days before moving them to a new location.
If your El Mirage pest control technician recommends poisoning the rats as part of a comprehensive rat control plan, an enclosed bait station can be a good measure. Don’t put poison on tree branches where it could accidentally poison birds, cats, insects, and other animals, and be sure to keep poison well out of the reach of children and pets. Make sure your home is completely sealed off before using poison, or the rats may re-enter your home and die in hidden places such as the walls or attic.
If your home has been infested with roof rats, you’ll want to act fast by calling Varsity Termite and Pest Control, a local, family owned pest control company with a proven track record of successful eradication. We create a comprehensive, multi-faceted, and custom eradication plan for each customer based on their needs. Get your life back by calling Varsity Termite today!
Varsity Termite and Pest Control – Gary Dobert
6056 E Baseline Rd #122