If there’s one pest problem we hear about often, it is roof rats!
Rats and their rodent cousins love living in Phoenix.
Besides having great weather during the winter months, the city provides them plenty of comfortable places to live during the hot months (like your house), safe places to raise a family (like your house), and great food to eat (like your garbage, fruit trees, and really anything else).
It’s easy to underestimate these clever little creatures. And while some people might be a sucker for a fuzzy face, the truth is that these little guys are nothing like the friendly little rats often portrayed in movies or that people may keep as pets.
Roof rats in Phoenix are wild animals whose habits leave something to be desired (they like to go to the bathroom everywhere) and who attract plenty of pests just by being around (rats and roaches make good friends).
So if you are rodent free today and you’d like to keep it that way, we have you covered with some helpful hints.
How to keep the rats away from your home
- Fruit Trees. The less food you provide, the less likely you are to have roof rats. Before you have your citrus trees removed, try a season of picking all fruit off trees and from the ground. This is especially helpful at points closest to roof rat access like your house, the neighbor’s house, and power lines. If the fruit is ripe or nearly ripe, donate fruit to food banks, friends, and family. Just don’t leave it as a donation for the roof rats!
- Yard Maintenance. The cleaner you keep your yard, the less likely pests will call it home. While you’re picking fruit, take a rake to the areas below trees and bushes and trim overgrowth. Oleanders, bougainvilleas, and other bushes are sometimes home to roof rats. Consider xeriscaping your yard with desert-friendly, water conserving plants instead.
- Wood piles. You love hanging out around the fire with friends but that wood pile in your yard is like an amusement park for roof rats and other pests. Keep the pile at least 12 inches from your house and walls and 18 inches above the ground.
- Rat feeders. You might think your yard is clear of debris and the landscape is trimmed so roof rats will walk right past your house but that’s not always the case. Roof rats will eat ANYTHING if their beloved fruit and nuts aren’t available. This includes garbage and pet feces. Gross! Keep the yard clean and waste secured in sealed containers.
- Bird feeding. You might love having the birds in your yard to say good morning but the seed isn’t just feeding the birds. You could unknowingly be feeding roof rats. Take the feeders down for the cooler months when rats are most active or remove them altogether as a preventative measure.
- DIY roof rat control: While we recommend calling a professional to set bait traps and remove roof rats, we know some of you will give it a try. We urge you to proceed with caution, setting traps in the evening when it’s less likely you will catch a bird or other small animal.
If you suspect that you’ve got a roof rat infestation in your Phoenix home, you need Budget Brothers Termite & Pest right away!