Rats in Arizona: Roof Rats and Norway Rats
Sep 01, 2022
Seeing a rat inside your home is horrifying. They are known to frequent the Phoenix area and you may have seen news articles that talk about roof rat infestations. How would you know if you have a roof rat at your home or business or a more aggressive species, the Norway rat? Either way, you’ll want to invest in rodent pest control.
First, a little history lesson. Like the Norway rat, the roof rat is native to Asia. It spread west through human migration, but it arrived in Europe and North America earlier than the Norway rat. The Norway rat is far more aggressive than the roof rats. Once they are both inhabiting the same area, the little guys from Norway limit the presence of the roof rat. Like a street gang.
You’ll find Norway rats in every state but, roof rats tend to dominate in coastal cities or along the water in warmer climates (we’re looking at you, metro Phoenix). Although roof rats generally don’t occur more than 100 miles inland, they may be transported there (mostly in cargo shipments) and establish local infestations, like what we have seen here in Arizona.
Just like their name implies, roof rats are more likely to infest high places, such as attics, soffits, drop ceilings and upper wall voids. The Norway rat prefers habits closer to the ground. Roof rats do very well in neighborhoods with mature landscaping – especially if it includes fruit and nut trees. They can easily travel along fences, through trees, on utility lines and rooftops. I’ve seen roof rats walking tightrope along a utility line. Not something you want to see in your yard or near your business.
Roof rats are able to rely on natural food sources and aren’t necessarily dependent on people for food. One of the methods for rodent pest control is to place poison in a high place for roof rats. However, that doesn’t mean that efforts shouldn’t be made at ground level because roof rats will forage and sometimes dig burrows in dense vegetation. Snap traps and bait stations should be placed along travel routes marked by gnawing, droppings or rub marks. Many roof rats can be caught by securing traps or stations to the utility conduits they travel. They’ll mostly be caught trying to bypass the traps.
If you think you have a problem with rats, you should certainly hire a pest control professional like Alpha Pest Control. Contact us at 480-968-0414 or email us for all of your Phoenix pest control needs. We have pest control clients in Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale and other metro Phoenix cities.