Arizona’s mild winter weather and abundance of citrus trees creates a great environment for roof rats to flourish.
Chandler has seen a huge increase in rat activity this year. Huge changes in the environment, clearing vacant lots, or converting farmland to housing can cause an increase in many pest-related issues.
I’ve lived in my Chandler neighborhood for 20-plus years, and I just recently discovered a roof rat had invaded my home. I’ve come to the conclusion that myself and my neighbors are having this issue due to a field nearby that has recently been cleared for a new subdivision.
If the environment near your home is changing, chances are you may have some unwelcome guests. Inspecting your home thoroughly is your first step to avoiding an infestation.
What to look for
- Droppings, rats poop a lot; if you are being invaded, you will see it.
- Stashed food, usually dog food. Rats will steal and stash food in small areas behind appliances and cabinets.
Ways they can get in
- Rats can enter in an area as small as the diameter of a quarter. They will enter any area that is accessible.
- Dog doors
- Unsealed plumbing protrusions
What to do If you find evidence
- Snap traps are effective and humane which makes them the best tool.
- Rodent bait works, but be diligent and cautious. Cross-contamination carries the risk of killing non-target animals.
What you can do to avoid an infestation
- After an inspection, seal any obvious entry areas.
- Keep your yard clean and clear of debris and fallen citrus.
- Keep any dense bushes trimmed to at least one foot from the ground.
- Talk to your neighbors. Get an idea if they’re experiencing problems and work together as a team to solve them.
- Hire a professional. If you want long-term effective results, hire an educated trustworthy professional.