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Roof-rat activity increases in cooler weather

As roof-rat activity begins to increase, Maricopa County Environmental Services is urging residents to clear their trees of citrus fruit.

“Arcadia, central Phoenix, Ahwatukee, different areas tend to have quite a bit of roof rat activity,” said John Townsend with Maricopa County Environmental Services Department, Vector Control Division. “Most of that is associated with older citrus populations in the area.”

According to the county’s website, “Although roof rats have not been found to have disease, they are known to be very destructive, gnawing through wiring and destroying citrus.”

Roof rats are described as very agile, with the ability to scurry from power lines to citrus tree to a home.

Further, experts warned that a rat can creep into a home through a hole the size of a nickel.

“We’ve heard lots of stories of people waking up and seeing a roof rat in their kitchen or bathroom,” said Townsend.