Roof Rats: My Latest Plague

Yesterday did not go well.  My lawn mower wouldn’t start, I spilled my soda on the clean floor, and I managed to ruin my favorite shirt.  Then a friend asked if she could come by and pick oranges and grapefruit.  No prob.  I’m undated with citrus.  I decided to jumpstart her efforts by picking a bag of navel oranges.  As I reached for an orange, I discovered this:


No bird in the world trashes fruit in this manner–just the dastardly roof rat.  While some will find this guy cute, he is Satan personified.   He spends 90% of his life at least four feet above ground and feasts on all forms of citrus.  In addition, he carries the Hanna Virus and a myriad of other diseases.  He and his friends sometimes seek refuge in attics, laundry vents, and other surreptitious places.  They enjoy gnawing on wiring and whatever else trips their triggers.


I’ve lived in my casa for 28 years, and until a year ago had no rats.  I’m not sure what changed.  There are owls and hawks that live in my backyard.  They certainly haven’t had them for dinner, and I spent copious amounts of money last year trying to banish them via bait boxes–to no avail.

I’m in a tizzy. I have dogs. I can’t lay out rat poison, nor have my pups feast on a carcas.  Yet, I know I must do something before they invade my personal space.  I shall spend tomorrow searching for solutions. Any advice is appreciated.

Roof Rat Sue in Phoenix, Arizona

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