Roof rats wreak havoc around Valley: Exterminator tips to get rid of critters

PHOENIX - Norway rats, pack rats and roof rats are living in the Valley, and where you live could determine which type you'll see. Regardless, you'll likely have a rat run-in at one point.

"I have no fruit and no trash and there is no end to it," explained Irina Grebenshchikova, who is dealing with a rat problem at her condo in Arcadia. "I don't have any citrus trees, I don't have much of a garden, so for me to remove so many animals is just kind of unexpected."

Buying traps is part of her weekly routine, and she's consistently catching rats.

It's not surprising news for Valley exterminator James Esquibel, who owns Jiminey Kricket Exterminating. He's seen a large rise in the need for critter control.

"I've seen over the last two years about a 1,000 percent increase," he said.

Esquibel believes the new and constant construction in the Valley is to blame.

"There's a lot of building and a lot of growth," he said.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself.

Rats like to nest in attics and trees, so make sure no vegetation is growing on your home. Esquibel said vegetation offers the rats a stepping stool to your roof.

Also, look closely for any openings around your foundation or garage.

Once you have a rat problem, it can take a professional exterminator about a month to get rid of them. For Grebenshchikova, even longer.

"I feel like its an issue not being controlled and I don't think you can really control it household to household," she said. "It's very frustrating. You wish that everyone would be involved on the higher level."

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