What are roof rats?
One of the most common rat species you can wind up with here in Phoenix is the roof rat. Also called the ship rat or the black rat, these rats are an invasive species that are as good at invading your home as they are invading local ecosystems.
Roof rats are an invasive species believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. The name roof rat comes from their well-known tendency to nest in the upper parts of buildings, such as attics. This rat species is also known as the ship rat because it commonly invades ships and ends up spreading its populations all over the world.
Roof rats are common in warm areas because they cannot handle frigid winters. Because they evolved for humid climates, they depend heavily on human habitations in desert states like Arizona because they need consistent water sources and are highly motivated to invade our homes.
Are roof rats dangerous?
Just like all other rat species, roof rats are incredibly dangerous because of their penchant for destroying property and their tendency to spread disease. As rodents, roof rats must constantly grind down their ever-growing sets of incisors and will chew on just about everything practically all the time. This activity can result in a whirlwind of destruction that leaves thousands of dollars worth of damage. Roof rats chewing on electrical wiring can even cause house fires.
And all this is to say nothing of the diseases they can spread. The diseases rats carry run the gamut from viral to bacterial and even parasitic. Some of the most common diseases you can get from roof rats are salmonellosis, leptospirosis, rat bite fever, and typhus.
Why do I have a roof rat problem?
As with virtually all other rat species, you may wind up with a roof rat problem because you have things inside your house that roof rats want. One of the biggest rat attractants in Arizona is water. The desert is not a friendly place for most rat species, and they must depend on humans for their water needs.
Easy food sources, such as your garbage or pet foods, and climate-controlled shelter from the blazing heat are other attractants that may bring roof rats into your home. A vital part of roof rat prevention is making these attractants harder to access.
Where will I find roof rats?
Roof rats prefer to nest in areas that are high up, which is where they get their moniker. They love to shelter in attics, upstairs storage units, and exposed beams in low-traffic areas like sheds and garages. These rats are fantastic climbers and can easily access just about any high-altitude area you can imagine, making signs of roof rats more difficult to spot.
How do I get rid of roof rats?
As with any rat infestation, once the problem gets going, it is almost impossible for homeowners to eliminate it on their own. The unfortunate reality is that store-bought rat control products like snap traps and rat poison do not have the capacity to eradicate an infestation. They can only eliminate a few individuals at a time.
You'll need professional help when dealing with these dangerous pests. Here at Eco Valley Pest Control, our rodent control programs can help you eliminate clever roof rats, even though these wily pests can often outfox many store-bought solutions. We specialize in all kinds of rodents endemic to the Phoenix area, and we are waiting in the wings to help you get the rats off your roof. So don't hesitate; click or call today.
How can I prevent roof rats in the future?
Keeping all rats, including roof rats, away from your home is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
- Eliminate their food sources by tightly covering your garbage cans and storing your pantry food in airtight containers.
- Get rid of all open water sources you can, including things like birdbaths and kiddie pools.
- Seal up all potential entryways into your home larger than a quarter with metal rodent mesh.
These three steps can go a long way in eliminating access for rats. But if you wind up with an infestation anyway, don't hesitate to contact us here at Eco Valley Pest Control for home pest control in Phoenix!