A familiar foe to Valley homeowners and pest control experts has made a resurgence in 2016.
One exterminator says he has seen a 200 to 250 percent increase in roof rat calls so far this year. He claims a good breeding season and the yearly monsoon are adding to the uptick.
“It’s the year of the rat,” said Joe Allen with Allen Animal Control. “People that have never had problems with rodents are calling this year.”
Allen spent part of Friday rigging up a handful of traps on the roof of a north Scottsdale home where two rats had already been captured and killed.
The pest most recently made headlines about a decade ago, when a huge infestation in the Arcadia area had homeowners calling for help.
This year, Allen says he has noticed a huge influx in calls and jobs.
The little guys can do major damage by gnawing through wires, burrowing into vents and taking a big bite out of fruit trees.
“The hollowed-out area here is almost always a telltale sign of rodents,” said Allen.
Monsoon season, and the rain it brings, spurs growth in trees and shrubs--offering more hiding places for the rodents. Allen says every area has the potential to be infested.
“I don't think it's a question of if, it's just when,” said Allen.
Allen offers these tips to homeowners: keep up on landscaping, clear brush and leaves out of the yard, clean up any junk or potential hiding spots, pick the fruit off your trees right away and don’t keep dog or cat food outside.