You might not know it yet, but the state of Arizona is brimming with a number of different rodent species. While we commonly associate the Grand Canyon State with soaring natural views and the occasional rattlesnake, rodents stake their claim on the state, as well!
Today, let’s introduce you to the most common species of rodents in Arizona. Afterward, we’ll discuss how you can keep your pack rat problem under control and away from your home!
Common Rodents of Arizona
While it is hard to put an exact figure on the # of rodents in Arizona, we can still highlight the most common species found within our borders. If you live or are planning on moving to the Grand Canyon State, keep an eye out for the following pests as you settle into your home.
- House Mouse – These fuzzy little creatures depend on humans entirely for their food and shelter. The house mouse is one of the most common rodents on our list and that’s a good thing! They are smaller than rats, easy to identify, and typically less aggressive than the other creatures on our list.
- Deer Mice – Carriers of the hantavirus, the Deer Mouse is a pest that you’d rather not have. This little mouse can taint dust particles in your home with bodily fluids, including feces, saliva, and urine. Deer mice often live in rural locations, within animal burrows, and even inside of trees.
- Roof Rat – The first rat of our discussion, the roof rat is black or brown in color and known for its long hairless tail. Traditionally at least 18 inches long, the roof rat tends to nest in the upper stories of your home, in the attic, or above the ceiling.
- Pack Rat – The star of today’s discussion is the pack rat. Also known as the wood rat, this is the most common rodent throughout the desert areas of Central Arizona. Pack Rats come in a variety of types, including the Whitethroat, Mexican Pack Rat, and Stephen’s Pack Rat. The pack rat does have fur along with a white underbelly. Pack rats are hazardous to humans due to the excrement they leave behind.
Other notable rodents in Arizona include Cotton Rats, Kangaroo Rats, and Grass Mice.
How Are Pack Rats Different From Other Rodents?
If you were to compare pack rats to the other common rodents of Arizona, you would likely find a few commonalities but more than their fair share of differences.
Favorite Places to Live – First and foremost, pack rats are also known as wood rats because they commonly live in brushland and Juniper Forests as well as the rocky mountainsides of Arizona.
Unique Desert Diet – Packrats are nocturnal in nature and like to feed on spiny cactus, tree bark, seeds, pinyon nuts, and yucca pods. These rats will also consume food and waste left behind by humans, one of the most effective ways to induce an infestation.
Common Problems – The pack rate isn’t particularly unique when it comes to the dangers and potential threats they can offer. Packrats create a ton of waste through feces, urine, and other bodily fluids. When these fluids are left in the home, they can combine with the air to spread bacteria that potentially cause illness.
While there are a few unique ways that pack rats differentiate themselves from the other rodents of Arizona, there are more commonalities than anything. Like the other rats on our list, pack rats pose health and safety risks due to bacterial growth created by the feces and droppings that they leave behind.
How to Identify a Pack Rat Infestation
When pack rats enter your home, they search for something simple: food, water, or shelter. Like all other rats, they tend to hide in traditionally dark, out-of-the-way places. Common areas of the home for woodrats to hide include the basement, patio, garage, and attic. You may also find wood rats in your garden or any exterior areas of your home beholden to clutter.
Common Signs of an Infestation Include
- Chew Marks – Look for chewing marks on exposed wires and along your walls.
- Active Rats – Most active at night, a savvy homeowner may be able to catch a wood rat while it is active at night.
- Fecal Droppings – Woodrats can grow up to 20 inches in length and that means they create a ton of waste along the way. Fecal droppings are often left behind by wood rats and that makes them the easiest sign to spot.
- Pile of Tiny Objects – Woodrats create nests out of all sorts of material, including the kinds of shiny objects we leave around the house. If you find a bunch of small trinkets in a pile, you may have found a packrat nest!
How to Keep Pack Rats Away
The best way to clean up a rodent infestation is by preventing it entirely in the first place! Pack rats are common pests throughout Arizona, but that doesn’t mean we have to live with them once they arrive. There are a few really simple ways that you can approach preventing a pack rat infestation, so let’s highlight them for ease below.
- De-Clutter – The easiest way to prevent an infestation of rodents is by taking time to remove clutter from the inside and surrounding areas of your home. Whether you have a full garage or stuff lying around the yard, any amount of clutter can lead to a pack rat infestation.
- Sanitize – Sanitation will be the easiest method by which to prevent pack rats from infesting your home. Toss your trash properly and promptly, sealing the detritus within an airtight container. Outside, make sure that your yard is free from leaf litter as well as any debris. Sweep and scrub the interior portions of your home while focusing on any remaining food waste.
- Fix Your Sinks – Rats need water and they are drawn to places where a constant source of H20 is available. If you have any leaking sinks or faucets, now is the time to fix them. Reducing readily available water can lead to a direct reduction in potential rats infesting your home.
- Bring Your Outdoor Furniture Inside – Finally, consider bringing pillows and cushions inside the home at night. Pack rats love to make homes and nests out of our outdoor clutter, up to and including deck furniture.
Buzz Tech AZ Rodent Removal Services
With more than 20 years of combined rodent control experience, Buzz Tech is the finest team of Rodent removal experts that Phoenix has to offer. After having served more than 3,000 rodent extermination services, Buzz Tech has done and seen it all. No matter the size of your property or the depth of the infestation, Buzz Tech can offer a range of beneficial services to clients who need them.
- Exceptional Training – Each technician at Buzz Tech Pest Control spends countless hours training to perfection to provide a service backed by integrity, pride, and experience. Every customer is treated as if their satisfaction is the only priority!
- 24/7 Emergency Responses – Buzz Tech Rodent Removal offers prompt responses backed by 24/7 availability. Emergency services mean that you never have to wait when the time comes to deal with your pack rat problem.
- Licensed & Insured – Buzz Tech AZ Rodent Removal is licensed, insured, and highly trained to handle the tasks at hand. Every technician on hand has been trained in safe rodent removal practices.
- FREE Inspection – Concerned about a potential pest infestation but not sure what you are dealing with? Buzz Tech can help by offering a 100% free in-home inspection.
To learn more about Buzz Tech or to schedule your next rodent removal appointment contact the team today!