Rats are common rodents in Tucson, and they are one of the most frequent and challenging pest problems. What does a rat look like? Are rats dangerous? Are there ways to keep rats out of your home? If you're looking for an answer to any of these questions, this guide is here to help.
Rodents in Arizona inconvenience homeowners in many ways. First off, they spread diseases through their droppings, saliva, and urine. Rodents are also destructive, chewing everything from stored grain to vegetables in the garden. Furthermore, mice pose fire risks when they gnaw on electrical wires. Rodents also damage other property when they chew on building materials and personal items in your home.
The Green Home Pest Control team offers comprehensive rat control options in Tucson if you're dealing with a current rat infestation. But, if you're looking for tips to prevent infestations in the future, read on to get answers to rat prevention questions and some helpful advice.
Do I Have A Rat Infestation?
Rodents describe mammals from the order Rodentia. You can distinguish them by their chisel-shaped incisors that grow throughout their lives. They also have a single incisor in both jaws.
Here are some rodents you can find on your Tucson property and places they may hide.
- Roof rats: In attics, cabinets, walls, and ceilings
- Deer mice: Under decks, log stacks, and tree hollows
- House mice: In cabinets, walls, ceilings, and any other out-of-the-way place in your home
One thing all of these rodents have in common is a need to continuously chew on things to keep their teeth from growing too long. If rodents are in your Tucson home, this chewing quickly leads to problems.
Rats reach up to 16 inches long and have short, scaly tails and beady, black eyes. They range in color from brownish-gray to black and are surprisingly intelligent and adaptable creatures. But, while you probably have an idea of what rats look like, you might not see one even if you have an infestation. Rats are primarily nocturnal and skilled at hiding, so there are other signs of rat activity to watch out for first:
- Small droppings that are brown and rod-shaped
- Greasy and dirty trails along walls or floors
- Strong ammonia smells from the build-up of rat urine
- Squeaky noises coming from inside the walls
- Chew marks around the property
If you see one or more of these signs, there's a good chance you have a rat infestation. You can reach out to Green Home Pest Control for an inspection to be sure.
What Causes A Rat Infestation?
Rats are widespread pests. They live almost anywhere humans reside, whether in rural, suburban, or urban areas. It is nearly impossible to prevent rats completely, but certain factors make your home more appealing to them. They prefer places that give them easy access to food and water sources and also like properties that offer many dark, cluttered spots to hide.
Rodents primarily infest your garden for food. They eat nuts, leafy vegetables, berries, and insects. Additionally, they love seeds, making sunflower and corn plants possible targets.
Different types of rodents also enter your garden for shelter. It's not uncommon to find mice inside compost piles, bird feeders, and trash cans. You don't need to see the animal to confirm rodent presence. Pests may have already invaded the garden if you spot grain-like droppings.
You can also look for tracks and smear marks along walls and gate posts. Another sign is tunneling with mounds marking entrances and exits. These tunnels can destroy growing plants along the way. You might also have pests if sprouts and seedlings disappear suddenly. Similarly, observe pet behavior. Your dog may bark to signal rodent presence on your property.
How Can I Tell If Rodents Are Damaging My Home?
House rodents are sneaky and often nocturnal, so detecting them on your premises can be difficult. But the sooner you notice an issue the easier it will be to get rodents out. Here are some places to check around your Tucson home:
- Small entrances: Small rodents can slip through openings that are equal to a nickel. Check around your home's exterior for small gaps or holes. The hole may appear small, but rodents can expand it by gnawing. If you see gnaw marks it is likely rodents are in your home.
- Cluttered areas: Areas in your home that are cluttered encourage nesting. If you have areas that need organizing, check carefully for signs of rodents as you put things away.
- Around food sources: Leftovers are enough to trigger a rodent infestation. Food is the primary draw for rodents. If you suspect they may be in your home, it is important to look closely at areas where rodents might find food. Look for droppings in the back of cabinets and drawers or under appliances.
- Your lawn: Not all rodents make their nest indoors. Some will nest outdoors and enter your home in search of food. Check for nests in overgrown areas or piles of wood or stone.
Rodents cause a lot of damage and reproduce quickly. If you suspect they have found a way into your home, don't delay in getting them out.
Here Are Six Tips For Dealing With A Rat Infestation
Rats might be prevalent, but they aren't just a nuisance. These rodents transmit illnesses such as hantavirus and salmonella, and they also cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Plus, rats are also destructive. Their strong incisors allow them to gnaw through everything from plastic to pipes to wires to drywall.
To keep your family safe from these risks, you can implement some rat prevention steps, such as:
- Place lids on all garbage cans and take the trash out often.
- Sweep, mop, and keep the dishes and kitchen clean.
- Store food in sealed containers.
- Seal holes in the exterior walls and foundation with steel wool or other strong materials that rats can't chew through.
- Repair broken and leaky plumbing around the home and yard.
- Obtain help from Tucson pest control experts to prevent and remove these pests once and for all.
- Block entrances by installing door sweeps, using screens on chimney openings and vents, and caulk holes around foundations and utility pipes.
- Store items in plastic containers instead of cardboard boxes that can be easily damaged by pests. Organize your garage, attic, and other storage spaces to prevent the cluttered areas rodents like to hide inside.
- Eliminate access to food by wiping cooking surfaces and storing food in airtight packages. The same applies to pet food. Don't leave dog or cat food in the bowl for too long. You can also eliminate water sources by wiping spills and fixing leaks.
- Prune any shrubbery where rodents can hide and keep landscaping away from the building's siding and foundation. Firewood piles should also be far from the dwelling.
These are all good ways to minimize your risk of a rodent infestation. However, if rodents are already inside your home it's time to take a different approach.
A professional exterminator understands the best treatment for different types of rodents and other invasive pests. Get in touch with Green Home Pest Control to get rid of rodents on your Tucson property.
The final and most effective way to deter rats from your property is ongoing home pest control services in Tucson from Green Home Pest Control.
What Does Green Home Do About Rats In My Home?
While you can take steps to keep rats out, they are nearly impossible to remove using DIY methods. Rodent control isn't easy as these pests can chew through many materials, and rats can fit through holes the size of a quarter. Instead of wasting your time and money trying to handle rats independently, professional pest control services can remove these rodents safely.
Green Home employs a trusted three-step process for rodent control services. First, we complete a thorough inspection of your property for any signs of rodent activity on the premises and any conducive conditions that could invite rodents inside.
Then, we’ll employ an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to your rodent treatment. This means that we’ll take a holistic approach to treatment using a process that is tough only on rodents, not the surrounding environment. We use botanically or organically-derived products that are both safe for the environment and effective at rodent control. Our treatment methods include trapping and exclusion services, to get out the active rodents in your home and keep them out, as well as rodent monitoring programs that can help you know exactly where your home stands. Finally, we also offer removal and sanitation services to help clean up the mess that rodent infestations leave behind.
Finally, we’ll take whatever follow-up steps are required to ensure the complete treatment of your home. Depending on the severity of your situation, we’ll need to schedule follow-up treatments to remove any lingering rodent presence. We’ll also be able to do some cleanup of the harmful elements they leave behind.
All our rodent treatments are guaranteed - we won’t stop until your home is rodent-free!
Worried about rodents? Call Green Home Pest Control today to request a quote or set up a service visit and learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Tucson.