Seeing a rat or two scurrying around your yard is never a pleasant sight. Finding them inside your home is even worse. You might then worry that you have a rat problem. Several common Arizona rats will ruin your food or damage your home.
A few types of rats live in Arizona, including wood rats, Norway rats, and roof rats. Learning more about these rodents can help you know what you’re dealing with.
Pack Rats or Wood Rats
The first common Arizona rat is a species of pack rats or wood rats that live in the central part of the state. Mexican wood rats, Stephen’s wood rats, and whitethroat wood rats all make their home in desert areas. However, they can invade residential areas as well.
These rats grow to be between six and eight inches long, making them one of the larger types of rodents in Arizona. Unlike other types of rats, wood rats have hair covering their tails. Other physical characteristics of these rats include a white belly and white feet.
Wood rats can build nests below your home or in your attic. Once you have them, you can expect them to keep using the same nest year after year until you get rid of them. When you have a wood rat nest in your home, you and your family risk becoming ill. Wood rats line their nest with fecal matter and urine that could carry harmful germs.
Wood rats can cause damage to your home as well since they chew on wiring and other materials. In addition, they can contaminate your food and damage your garden. Wood rats are active at night and rest during the day.
Norway rats are another common Arizona rat. These large rodents measure between eight and ten inches in length as adults. They have grayish-brown fur and mostly hairless, scaly tails. Their tails are shorter than the tails of other common Arizona rats. In fact, their tails are shorter than their body and head length.
These rats make nests in the ground using tunnels and burrows. You might find a Norway rat nest near your home’s foundation or under piles of leaves and other debris on your property. While they don’t eat as much as other rats, they make up for it in terms of damage. Norway rats can contaminate food and gnaw their way through pipes, wiring, and other material. This can put your home at risk of severe harm, including fires and plumbing problems.
Norway rats come out at night to look for food. They tend to rest in their nest during the day. These rats can jump long distances, including eight feet across and three feet high. This makes it easy for them to reach a wide range of places inside or outside homes.
Roof rats have only been in Arizona since the 2000s, but they are here to stay. These common Arizona rats have been able to find plenty of food in the state. The warmer temperatures also suit them. You might discover roof rats in older trees and landscaped areas, but they can also make their home in your roof or attic.
They measure between seven and eight inches long when they’re fully grown. Roof rats have black fur and hairless tails that are longer than their body and head. You’re more likely to see these rats in higher areas thanks to their ability to climb and jump.
Roof rats are nocturnal and spend their nights looking for food. They can ruin the food in your home and spread disease. Some of the diseases these rats carry are leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and salmonellosis. They can destroy trees and cause severe damage to wiring, wood, insulation, and other materials inside your home.
There are ways to prevent roof rats and other common Arizona rats from entering your home. If you find any rats around your Arizona home, contact Budget Brothers Termite and Pest Elimination for immediate service.