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Citrus & Roof Rats

Citrus & Roof Rats

 

If you have a citrus tree and you don’t harvest your fruit, you might be feeding root rats. Here is how to find out if you are hosting a late night reception.

How to Spot Roof Rats
Look on the ground below your citrus tree, especially oranges. If you find a bunch of small pieces of fruit skin or an empty citrus rind, then you have roof rats in your yard. Inspect your trees carefully as roof

rats will often eat the pulp from oranges while the fruit is still
hanging on the tree, leaving only the empty rind

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. In addition to consuming and contaminating stored food and feedstuffs, roof rats will gnaw on wiring (posing a fire hazard), and tear up insulation to use it for nesting material.”

Neighborhood Pests
Part of the challenge of ending a rat infestation is their tendency to inhabit one area and feed in another. A roof rat may live up to 300 feet away and come to your yard to feast on the fruit of your orange tree.

What to Do
If you suspect you 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 to  website and click here for prepared text that you can use to get the word out about our service to your neighbors.

Community action is an effective way of reducing root rat population. According to Rex Marsh of U.C Davis (retired) “roof rats will travel considerable distances (100 to 300 feet [30 to 90 m]) for food. They may live in the landscaping of one residence and feed at another.

Reference: Roof Rats by Rex E Marsh

 

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