Identifying and Understanding Common Arizona Rats
Rats can make cute and cuddly friends when you pick them up at the pet store, but it’s another story when rodents show up at your house uninvited. Wild rats can damage your home, wreak havoc on your garden and even pose health threats to your family. The warm climate in Arizona means that most homeowners are likely to encounter these troublesome pests at some point in time, but you don’t have to worry. Knowing how to identify common rats is key to protecting your property.
A Crash Course in Rat Identification
Dozens of species of rats are found around the world. While most are hardy creatures that can live in challenging conditions, rats naturally prefer warmer climates. This means that the deserts of Arizona are home to a handful of species. While you might see the occasional pack rat or kangaroo rat in the desert, these critters tend to stay away from human dwellings. Two other types of rats found in the state are far more likely to visit your home.
One of the most common is the roof rat, which can be found in urban, suburban and rural areas. Also known as brown rats, roof rats build nests in trees, bushes, attics and the eaves of homes. While they prefer these higher areas, be aware that roof rats may nest in basements and crawlspaces as well. Their bodies measure 7 to 8 inches long, and they have scaly, dark-colored tails. They have pointed noses and leave droppings that look like small bananas. Attic noise, smudge marks near rafters and the presence of droppings are generally the first signs of a roof rat infestation.
The Norway rat, which is also called the black rat, has a slightly larger body than the roof rat. Measuring 8 to 10 inches long, it has a skinny tail and tends to have brownish-gray fur. Norway rats have flat noses and leave droppings that are small and pill-shaped. They nest in underground burrows and emerge primarily to find food. Outdoor burrows and gnaw marks on electrical cords are tell-tale signs of a Norway rat infestation.
Smart Strategies to Deal with Rodent Infestations
If you’ve noticed the signs of a rat infestation in or around your home or suspect that you may have one, it’s important that you call a pest control professional right away. Rats reproduce at a stunning rate and can take over your home before you know, and do-it-yourself options aren’t always safe or effective at getting rid of infestations. Of course, you can help prevent an infestation by cleaning up trash and picking up fruit that has fallen from your trees.
Worried about rats around your home? Contact us at Burns Pest Elimination today. We’re here to help you get rid of troublesome rodents.