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Roof Rats: What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them

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Roof Rats: What Are They and How to Get Rid of them

Roof rats have been invading all parts of the East Valley over the past few years.

In 2013, Mesa and Tempe saw an influx of roof rats.

This year, roof rats have invaded Gilbert, Arizona.

The problem with roof rats is that once they invade a neighborhood, they are extremely difficult to get rid of.

“This is the time of year, as it starts warming up, that they start spreading out and starting their breeding cycle,” said David Guerrieri, field supervisor with Maricopa County Environmental Services’ vector-control division. “They start nesting again, so you will see more of an activity this time of year, and then when it gets hot during the summer, they kind of hunker down and wait.”

Today, let’s talk about how roof rats can infest your Gilbert home, and how to get rid of them…

Roof Rats- What Are They and How to Get Rid of Them

Roof Rats Have Invaded Gilbert, AZ

Roof rats first invaded the East Valley in 2001 in Phoenix, and from there spread throughout Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and Gilbert.

Roof rats love warmer temperatures, which is why their populations tend to explode during a warm Spring.

Roof rats are small, and only need a hole the size of a quarter to squeeze through and get into your attic or home.

Roof rats carry disease, although none have been found to carry anything as fatal as the Black Plague here in Gilbert or throughout Arizona.

Roof rats eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, pet food and invertebrates (spiders and worms, for example). They will also eat paper.

Female roof rats can each have up to four litters a year, each containing five to eight young. In urban areas where they have no natural predators, the survival rate of the babies is high.

If you have the following items around your home, you may be more prone to attracting roof rats: palm trees, yucca plants, pampas grass, honeysuckle, Italian cypress trees, any heavy shrubbery, wood piles, and storage boxes.

How to Tell if Your Gilbert Home Has Roof Rats

Roof rats are nocturnal, so the easiest way to tell if you have them is to listen at night when lying in bed. Roof rats tend to make the nests in the attic of your Gilbert home, so pay attention to noises from above your head when the sun goes down.

You might also notice small pellet droppings on the ground in or around your attic, or near citrus trees.

If you have citrus trees and notice any fruit on the ground that have been completely hollowed out, you probably have roof rats.

How to Get Rid of Roof Rats

The best way to get rid of roof rats is to prevent them from even coming to your Gilbert home.

Keep your trees trimmed, and your bushes and vines thinned. Make sure trees are trimmed back from the house at least 4 feet.

Keep the lids on your garbage closed at all times.

And, just as we suggest for keeping scorpions away, keep all citrus off of the ground, keep all debris cleaned (including leaves) and away from your home, don’t store pet food outside and eliminate any standing water.

If you do have roof rats in your Gilbert home, you can…

Purchase rat traps from your local hardware store and set them all around your home and within the attic. We highly recommend avoiding any rat poisonings or chemicals to get rid of roof rats. The last thing that you want to do is poison a child or family pet…or the neighbor’s.

And, of course, you can always call Magic Pest Control to take care of your roof rat situation. In fact, this really is your best option. Roof rats get into everything and, just like termites, can destroy everything.

You don’t want to take any chances with these pests, especially because of the diseases they can carry.

If you suspect that you have roof rats in your Gilbert home, call Magic Pest Control today!!

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