Roof rats are named based off of where they live. They live in your roof! Or at least close to it. They crawl through small holes surrounding ducting, chimney, ventilation, cooling, and roof work. Once inside, they occupy small, dark, abandoned, high up areas.

 

Roof rats live the majority of their lives four feet off the ground.

You know you have roof rats because of where you find them in your home. Arizona roof rats are dark blackish brown and are generally found in high up places, like your attic. Other rodents such as Norway rats and house mice are usually found in different locations.

 

Arizona roof rats love messy and unclean hosts.

Roof rats like to hide in dark, dirty, abandoned spaces. If your home is open, bright, and clean, you have a good chance of never meeting them. Try to keep clutter to a minimum and use a tight sealing lid on your kitchen trash can. Don’t leave food out, and clean off dirty dishes quickly after use.

Citrus trees = Arizona roof rat paradise.

Roof rats mainly eat fruit for its water content. Fruit with small holes comes from birds and bugs. If the entire fruit is hollowed out and sucked dry, it’s likely from a roof rat. Unsurprisingly, roof rats are not picky. They will eat both unripe or rotten fruit just the same as fruit that’s in its prime. Some fruit trees common to Arizona include lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit and more. 

Keep your bushes trimmed, especially oleanders.

When it comes to your yard, the cover of tall closely placed, dense trees with large connected canopies make the perfect roof rat hideout. Roof rats enjoy the cover of tall bushy palm trees of all varieties as well as oleander bushes. While very common to Arizona, Oleander bushes are actually poisonous to humans and most house pets. However, they are nearly harmless to rodents, so you can often find the critters hiding inside them.

Property fences and walls are roof rat highways.

Unlike some rodents that live in the ground, roof rats climb up tree trunks, tree branches, power lines, roof lines, fences, and walls, much like squirrels. They reproduce and spread like crazy. Make sure nothing on your property attracts them as look for new homes to occupy.

How to get rid of roof rats

Keep your trees cut at least 4 feet away from structure – roof rats can jump.

If you have a lot of trees, make sure none of the tree branch canopies touch one another. Tree branches should be cut back at least 4 feet from other trees and rooflines. Roof rats are excellent climbers and jumpers so make access to the roof is difficult. Thin out all trees and bushes. If you can see through them, roof rats cannot hide inside them.

If roof rats get inside, your attic is prime real estate.

Roof rats enjoy spaces like your attic, false ceiling, ceiling, and crawl space. The heating of your home rises and keeps them warm. Roof rats enjoy laundry rooms and bathrooms because these rooms are especially warm. Once inside your attic, they are not easy to remove.

 

 
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