Roof rats are a fact of life in the Valley, and if you're noticing evidence of them right now, there's a good reason.
Eric Papadeas with Pest'R Us Exterminating focuses on getting rid of vermin in the East Valley, but he says the problem has spread everywhere. He said rats love oranges and grapefruit.
"They love the juice," he said.
If you notice hollowed-out fruit near your trees, that's a pretty good sign you have visitors.
"Typically, they’re out at night, very rarely will you see one in the daytime," Papadeas said.
Other signs include their droppings and any pitter-pattering in your roof.
"Their hind legs can jump from a tree to the roof about 12 to 15 feet away," he said.
And Papadeas has been getting a lot of calls in Ahwahtukee, in particular.
"A lot of things that are happening with the 202 are bringing in a lot of insects, bugs, and rodents into homes," he said.
One way to get rid of them is to leave tunnels with appetite suppressant in them, that the rats think are food. It will slowly lead to their demise. Also, don't leave pet food in your backyard, clean up the fruit from any citrus trees, cover any home openings or vents with wire mesh, and keep lids on outdoor trash cans.
But Papadeas says rodents are just part of desert life.
"We're not going to get rid of them all, it's just a fact," he said.
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