Don’t let roof rats sneak in!
The Phoenix metro area is a fantastic place to live for people who hate being cold and want reliable weather as often as possible. People move from all over the world for the warm climate of Phoenix, Arizona. Unfortunately, some unwanted animals have realized the same thing and make their home primarily in climates just like these. One of them is the roof rat, an intruder that nobody wants to find in their home.
While prevention is always a best practice, sometimes these critters can find their way inside even when you’ve done everything right. If you happen to see one, it’s best to call a professional pest control company right away before they multiply, and the earlier you remove them, the less likely they are to be a major issue.
What are roof rats?
Rats are more than just a larger version of a common house mouse. Roof rats are also known as black rats, with the simple scientific name of Rattus rattus. These rats can be found all over the world, but they prefer warmer climates, making the Phoenix region a prime place for them to settle in. They prefer to be out of the open, however, as this limits their availability to predators. One place they can end up is in your home, but there a few things you can do to minimize the chance of them choosing you.
What attracts roof rats?
Roof rats are omnivores. They eat plants and fruits as well as small insects. This means that if they’re able to detect something tasty inside your property, they might decide to venture in and stick around. Roof rats are more likely to stay if they have a place to hide where they feel comfortable and safe, especially in combination with an easy food source.
- Try to minimize clutter. The more places there are to hide, the places roof rats can find to stay. And you definitely don’t want to pick up clothes from the floor only to find that one has made a home there!
- Clean up food and dishes right away. They may enjoy insects and inedible plants, but roof rats also like a lot of the same foods that humans do. If they sense a plentiful source with easy access, they’re likely to choose that instead of scavenging for food outdoors.
- Eliminate access points by sealing your home. Even if there’s a perfect environment for roof rats inside of a property, they’re out of luck if they can’t enter. The best way to stop them is to reduce any holes in your siding and make sure the windows and doors have a tight seal.
How can I stop a roof rat problem I already have?
There are a few DIY methods you can attempt if you’ve only seen one or two roof rats, but caution is important.
- Use rat traps. Rat traps can do a great job of getting rid of a sneaky rat that managed to find it’s way in. However, be sure to place it somewhere away from pets and children.
- Try poisons. Rat poison is effective, but dangerous. Because of this, if you want to try using rat poison, make sure to keep it somewhere inaccessible to other creatures. Bait stations are a better choice because they greatly reduce the chance of any other animal coming in.
- Remove the food source. Roof rats eat many different types of food, including cat and dog food. Even pet food kept outside can be an attractant to them, so make sure that it’s sealed away where they can’t get to it. If you have fruit trees, pick up any fallen fruit right away.
What if my methods don’t fix the problem?
Then it’s time to call someone for professional pest control services. Many companies include home inspections, baiting stations, and safe traps that target rats only in their pricing estimates. It’s recommended to have your exterminators return every other month for a while after treatment to make sure the rats don’t find their way back.