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Fruit Trees and Roof Rats

Fruit Trees and Roof Rats

Roof rats are a common pest in California backyards. This rat is the same species that carried the bubonic plague around the world and is also the reservoir host for murine typhus. Roof rats might be cute but are dangerous.

This article discussed what you need to know and what to do about this common pest.

* Nocturnal and secretive roof rats are hard to spot.
* Roof rats can travel long distances from their nest to reach their food.
* They invade buildings and can chew through wires (potentially starting fires), gnaw through plastic and even lead water pipes.

Hosting a Late Night Reception?
Roof rats often go unnoticed in a neighborhood until a wide variety of fruits such as citrus, pomegranates, persimmons, tomatoes, figs, watermelons, most berries and other fruit starts to ripen.

How to Spot Roof Rats
The visible damage caused by roof rat is a circular hole about the size of a half dollar, and the whole fruit hollowed out with the empty rind often hanging on the tree.
Look on the ground below your fruit tree, especially oranges and pomegranates. If you find a bunch of small pieces of fruit skin or an empty rind, then you have roof rats in your neighborhood.

Take Roof Rats Seriously
Don’t ignore your roof rats. According to University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, ” The roof rat is implicated in the transmission of some diseases to humans, including murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and plague. It is also capable of transmitting some diseases to domestic animals and is suspected in the transference of ectoparasites from one place to another.”

What to Do
If you suspect you or your neighbors have roof rats,

1-Read the guidelines published by the University of California IPM – Citrus and Roof Rats.
2- Register your tree, and we will do all we can to come and harvest your fruit.
3- If you don’t have a citrus tree but see them around the neighborhood, post this article toNextdoor website and click here for prepared text that you can use to get the word out about our service to your neighbors.
1-Read the guidelines published by the University of California IPM – Citrus and Roof Rats.
2-

Remove your fruit or register your tree (we will do all we can to come and harvest your fruit.)
3- If you don’t have a citrus tree but see roof rat damage around the neighborhood, post this article to the Nextdoor website. Also, encourage your neighbors to register their fruity tree so we can harvest and donate their fruit. Click here for prepared text that you can use to get the word out about our service to your neighbors.
4- Trapping is the safest and most effective way of controlling the rat population.

Roof rats are our area can multiply quickly. Spring and fall are their peak breeding season. The litter of 5 to 8 pups are born after a gestation period of 21 to 23 days. A female roof rat can have 4 or 5 litters per year. Community action is the most effective way of reducing root rat population.

Learn More
Read: How to Manage Pests – Rats 
by UC Statewide Integrated Pest Mangement Program.

 

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