As temperatures warm up in Arizona many rodents are going to become more active. In the winter rats, mice, and other pests hibernate to keep warm. As temperatures rise they will begin venturing out from their dens in search of food and new places to nest. This “busy season” for vermin means that we must be diligent in our efforts to keep pests from entering our homes. One of the most commonly seen rodents during this time of year is the “Roof Rat”. The roof rat is actually just a black rat, although than can be many other colors and can be easily identified by their long scaly tails, large ears and small bodies. Roof rats love to climb and can often be found in trees, shrubs and attics, hence the name “Roof Rat”.
Roof rats weren’t always native to the Phoenix area. They were first discovered in 2002 and were most likely brought here from one of our neighboring states. Since their “move” in 2002 we have begun seeing them throughout the valley and nearby areas.
So, how can you avoid these pesky rats, you might ask? Well the professionals at AZEX Pest Solutions have an arsenal of treatment and maintenance procedures that they use to get rid of pests once they have found their way to your property. Here are some tips you can, and should, do to prepare for “rat season” and to avoid having an infestation this summer.
- Starve those pests!
Don’t make your home an “open buffet” for rodents to help themselves to. Citrus is a major food AND water source for roof rats. These rats love to climb trees and can eat the fruit before it is even ripe! Make sure you watch your trees for signs of rodents, and make sure all fallen fruit is picked up as quickly as possible. Another quick tip to implement is avoid leaving animal food outdoors overnight. This includes dog and cat bowls as well as any wild bird seed that you have out. Store your pet food indoors in rat-proof containers. Finally keep your garbage tightly closed.
- Clean up your space.
Rake under your trees and shrubs and prune fruit trees so you can see the ground under them. Remove wood and brush piles or raise them at least a food above the ground and from any walls or fencing.
- Seal your home, inside and out
Roof rats can enter your home through holes as small as a nickel, so sealing any, and all, holes is essential to keeping rats OUT! Seal cracks and holes with caulk or wire mesh.
- Strategically place and use traps
Set traps in areas such as laundry room or garden sheds. Place the traps where they cannot be found by children and pets. Leave the traps in place for at least a week before moving them, this allows the pests to get used to their presence and they are more likely to investigate it.
- Be Careful with Poisons
Don’t put poisons anywhere were pets or children can reach. Do not wire bait blocks directly to tree branches. Make sure that the house is sealed first, then put out poison baits, this reduces the likelihood of rats entering the home and dying in hidden places.
- Call in the Pros
As always, the best plan of action is to call in the professionals to get rid of rodent issues once-and-for-all! Our trained technicians know how to get the job done right the first time. We will set up an easy to follow treatment plan to keep your home rodent free!