Roof Rat Remediation in Phoenix and Tucson AZ
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Roof rats dwell in cities, suburbs and rural areas in Phoenix and Tucson. They are capable of thriving in human environments are therefore are considered undesired rodents. Rats are known to travel great distances and are wary of unknown objects in their established foraging paths. This skepticism can make trapping a rat particularly difficult for a homeowner.
Roof rats, also known as black rats, are smaller than some other rats, such as the Norway rat. The black rat is black to light brown in color with a lighter underside. These rats get their name from their tendency to take shelter in upper areas of homes and buildings (near the roof). They like the heat that they can find in higher locations. They commonly take up residence in attics, cabinets, garages, ceilings, inside walls, and more.
Once inside, these rodents can cause a lot of damage because they will eat and feed on just about anything. They will enjoy a feast on plants, pet food, vegetables, nuts, tree bark, insects, paper, meats, plastic, metal, and more. We weren’t kidding, they will eat whatever they find. Not to mention, they are highly adaptable and will also make their nest out of whatever they can get to. As you can imagine, this can cause a lot of destruction to your home and belongings.
Prevention methods should be implemented early in order to maintain a rodent-free home. Like most rodents, roof rats have the ability to produce many offspring in a small window, making even a small infestation, a large one, in a short amount of time.
Keep any possible food sources away from rodents. Small crumbs and garbage are popular sources of infestation, as are dry goods such as grains and cereals. These should be kept in sealed metal or glass containers to prevent contamination. Fruits and vegetables should also be stored properly, and resulting waste should never be left in sinks or on counters. Cardboard objects prove attractive to rodents, as they tend to chew them up for use in their nests.
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Like other Arizona pests and rodents, if roof rats want to get inside your home, they will find a way. These rodents are good climbers and can use tree limbs, power lines, vines, and other things close to your home to get into your attic and other areas. If there is a space, even one extremely small, they will squeeze through. All they need is an opening about the size of a nickel to get inside.
These critters will make their way inside if they are seeking, food, water, and shelter, and also to hide from predators (snakes, birds, dogs, etc.). When living near humans, the availability of foods will drive a rodent’s habits. Homeowners should try to eliminate or minimize the abundance of rodent food sources as well as contact a pest control professional.
These rodents can create health risks for you and your family. Roof rats are most popularly known for spreading the bubonic plague. According to the CDC, rodents are known to spread more than 25 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly through handling of live or deceased rodents, contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, as well as rodent bites. They can also be spread indirectly through other pests that have fed on an infected rodent. Roof rats are no exception.
Along with leaving droppings and urine that create a health hazard, roof rats can also cause damage to your home. They may chew through your home’s siding to get inside, and once they have succeeded, they won’t stop there. They will chew on wires (causing a fire risk), gnaw on wooden beams, munch through plumbing, and can also eat through drywall and insulation.
Signs of An Infestation
Roof rats are responsible for the transmission of many diseases. Their feeding habits are destructive, and their nesting behaviors can compromise the structure of infested buildings. However, rats are secretive and not seen by humans when populations are low. Therefore, an infestation may prove difficult to confirm.
These rodents are nocturnal and are up and about mostly during the night, so if you have an infestation, you may not actually see them. Keep your eyes peeled for rat droppings, which are about 0.5 inches long with pointed ends, listen for gnawing or scratching above you, watch for chew marks and unexplained damage to wiring, and pay attention to if you come across a nest or see these critters near your home. All of those things can be signs that you potentially have one or more of these invaders.
In the event of an infestation, it is best to consult a pest control professional. Although various traps are available, they address only individual specimens and will not prove effective in the face of an infestation. Additionally, roof rats tend to be wary of unknown objects in their established foraging paths, rendering many traps initially ineffective.