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Intro to Roof Rats
The roof rat’s scientific name is Rattus rattus. Historically, they are associated with having spread the plague or black death during the Middle Ages. The roof rat is also known as the black rat, even though it is not necessarily black in color, but rather is usually dark brown. Your typical roof rat is between 13 to 18 inches long, including its tail. In fact, it is distinguished from other rats by that tail, which is longer than the rest of its body. Roof rats are sleek, slender, and agile. Their have large ears.
Are there roof rats in the Phoenix area?
Yes, there are. The rat outbreak first occurred in the Phoenix area in 2001 when they appeared in the Arcadia neighborhood in east Phoenix. As of this writing (March 2004) there have been confirmed roof rat sightings in Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale, Paradise Valley, and Glendale. We can assume that every neighborhood has roof rats now, or will have them very soon.
Roof rats are not unique to our state; they are partial to warmer climates. The roof rat has been found along the southern Atlantic and Gulf coastal states from Virginia to Texas and throughout Florida. They also are found along the Pacific coast of California, Washington state, and Oregon. I have seen documentation indicating that roof rats will always be found within 100 miles of the coastline, but I guess we’ve proven that to be incorrect!
So how did they get to Arizona? In cars, in trucks, by movement of plants and trash–we don’t really know. But they are here, and it will take dedication to keep them under control.

  August 7, 2012       Posted by gordonfamily       in News & Information       1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Andre George
    September 5, 2013  

    I have outside of my home small mice, perhaps field mice. They are about 2 to 3 inches long with a long tail…over the months I have killed several. What kind of treatment do you recomend?

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