Full citrus trees means rise in roof rats

Oct 25, 2012, 7:06 AM | Updated: 7:06 am

It’s fall, meaning citrus trees are loaded with fruit and roof rats must not be far behind.

These rodents are more than annoying — they’re destructive.

Roof rats chew up engine-compartment wiring, wires in and around homes, insulation and wood. Many people confuse them with a pack rat or a mouse.

“The tail is much longer than the roof rat’s body and scaly. A pack rat’s tail is shorter,” said David Guerreri with Maricopa County Vector Control.

Guerreri said there’s a guaranteed way to know if a home has roof rats: hollowed-out citrus. The rats are also drawn by dog and cat food.

Guerreri said removing old citrus is one step toward keeping roof rats away along with cleaning up dead brush where they can nest.

Mesa will host a public meeting on Thursday at Entz Elementary School, located at 4132 E. Adobe St., at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the best measures to keep roof rats away.

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Full citrus trees means rise in roof rats