The roof rat is also known as the black rat, even though it is not necessarily black in color, but rather is usually dark brown. Your typical roof rat is between 13 to 18 inches long, including its tail. In fact, it is distinguished from other rats by that tail, which is longer than the rest of its body. Roof rats are sleek, slender, and agile. Their have large ears.
Are there roof rats in the Phoenix area?
Yes, there are. The rat outbreak first occurred in the Phoenix area in 2001 when they appeared in the Arcadia neighborhood in east Phoenix. In 2004 there were confirmed roof rat sightings in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Paradise Valley, and Glendale. We can assume that every neighborhood has roof rats now.
What else you should know about roof rats
- Roof rat droppings are long and cylindrical.
- Roof rats are nocturnal.
- Roof rats can transmit diseases like the bubonic plague and typhus. At this point, none of the roof rats captured and tested in Maricopa County have been diseased.
- Roof rats will enter homes and buildings. They only need a hole the size of a quarter to gain entry.
- Roof rats are good climbers. They can climb walls and use utility lines and fences to travel from structure to structure.
- Outside, roof rats will nest in trees, woodpiles, garbage, and plants. In our area, oleanders seem to be a popular nesting location.
- Inside, high places, like attics, are their preference.
- Roof rats do not burrow in the ground or swim.
- 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 you have roof rats
If you have citrus trees, and you notice hollowed-out fruit on the ground or in the trees, this is an indicator that roof rats are present. If you hear gnawing or scratching sounds in the attic or in the walls, you may have roof rats. Pay attention to any droppings in attics and storage areas. If you notice oily rubmarks on the house, or small holes in the screens, you could have roof rats.
What you can do to get rid of roof rats
Trapping roof rats seems to be the preferred method of control, especially if you have small children or pets that might be affected by poisons. Contact Bug Guardian Pest Control today at (480)345-28547 for assistance with Roof Rat removal.