Here are 6 tips for dealing with a rat infestation

A rat infestation is not only gross, but is also a dangerous nuisance. Left unchecked, they can do major damage to your house by gnawing at home furnishing, internal structures, insulation, and wiring. Beyond that, they’re known to carry more than 70 diseases—some of which can be easily transmitted to humans.

Here in Phoenix, homeowners most often deal with roof rat infestations on their property. However, whether you have roof rats or other types of rodents, keep reading. We’ll review 6 rodent control tips for dealing with a rat infestation in your home or on your property—and when you need to call in the experts here at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.

Do you have a rat infestation?

Have reason to think you might have roof rats or other types of rodents in your home? Check out our latest infographic to learn more about the best ways to deal with a rodent infestation. Then, call us for a free pest inspection here in Phoenix and Casa Grande.


Call a pest control expert when you need help with a rat infestation.How do you prevent a rat infestation?

The key to preventing rats from moving in is to deny them shelter and sustenance. Let’s review how you can go about making your home an undesirable place for rats to live.

Denying rats food or water

Rats are hardy survivors who can eat just about anything to survive. This has allowed them to cohabitate alongside humans for thousands of years. Completely denying rats access to food is difficult. However, that doesn’t mean you have to make it easy for them, either. There are two common sources of food here in the Valley that these rodents just love:

  • Fallen citrus fruit: Here in the Valley, we’re famous for our backyard citrus trees that flourish due to our warm climate. Yet, fallen citrus is a highly nutritious and appealing food for rats.
  • Outdoor cat and dog food: As it turns out, the food that your dog and cat love is also loved by most rats. When food bowls are placed outdoors, it’s an easy target for a hit-and-run. Think of this as a rat drive-thru lane.

By picking up fallen citrus and removing pet food as soon as your pets are done eating, you have eliminated two easy sources of food for rodents. Rats are opportunists: if they have to work hard to find food around your home, chances are that they’ll pick an easier target somewhere else. After all, the Valley has no shortage of citrus trees.

Denying rats shelter

Rats also need a place to hunker down where they’ll be protected from predators and can raise their young. Roof rats, infamously, use overhanging branches to get onto the roof and then into the attic through its weep holes and vents. Other rats use dark, quiet backyard spaces—piled lumber, neglected storage sheds, and old sitting vehicles—as their base of operations. Overgrown bushes and shrubs can also present ample shelter for rats. Rats are nocturnal: give them a place to hide during the day, and they’ll be content to come out at night looking for food.

So, if you want to prevent an infestation, deny these rodents safety and shelter. Clean up your backyard and storage sheds so that there’s nowhere left to hide. Trim down bushes to deny rats shade. In your roof, make sure that your weep holes and vents are sealed with strong wiring that allows air and moisture to continue moving, but blocks rats from getting inside.

What are the warning signs of an infestation?

Here are some of the potential signs of a rat infestation:

  • Sightings: In most cases, a single rat isn’t a one-off. It could mean there are more rats around your property. Rats do their best to avoid humans and their pets, so outdoor cameras—especially motion-sensing ones—are ideal for catching them in the act.
  • Half-eaten citrus: If you notice that your fallen citrus is all half-eaten, it could be a sign of rodent activity in your yard. Some birds also consume citrus fruit, but rarely with the voraciousness of a family of rats.
  • Pets on alert: Your dog or cat has better hearing and a sense of smell that you do. If your pets are acting strangely and have their attention fixated on the ceiling of your home, it could be something they sense in your attic.
  • Noises: Of course, not all rat-related sounds are beyond the range of human hearing. As rats tussle and scratch around in an attic, you can often hear it on a quiet night. Listen carefully, and you may even hear the telltale squeaks of rats or mice.

What should you do if you have rats?

Call in the experts

A rat infestation is rarely solved by a do-it-yourself approach. In fact, the most effective pest control strategy with a rat infestation is to call in the rodent control experts at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services. We have experience in removing and eliminating rats in a safe, quick, and effective manner.

True pest control professionals, our team knows all of the effective techniques that can get rid of your rat infestation once and for all.

Have your home professionally sealed

Home sealing is an effective way of blocking pests—including rodents—from getting into your home. Home sealing is especially helpful with rodents because, as resourceful as they can be at times, there are only so many spaces a rat can fit through to get into your home. Contrast that with another common Phoenix pest, the Arizona Bark Scorpion, which can squeeze into spaces the width of a credit card.

By having a pest technician seal under windows and doors, replace mesh at weep holes, and advise you on other steps, you can block easy access to your home for rats. Denied easy access, food, and shelter, rats will probably eventually move on.

Eliminate their food sources

One of the preferred tactics of generals and commanders in a war is to cut off the enemy’s supply lines. You can also apply this tactic in your war against rats. Eliminating the food source will impact the desire of the rats to hang around in your house.

You should also avoid giving the rats a reason to stay around your house and dump all of your accumulated garbage immediately. Also, you should consider placing a lockable lid on the garbage can. This will prevent easy access for rats to their food source.

Clean your home

Trash and clutter are the best friends of rats living in your home. They love clutter of all kinds, as it provides them the perfect hiding place and it’s warm bedding to bring back to nests. Start by de-cluttering your home. Make sure that the kitchen, attic, closets, and the basement are clean.

What should you not do?

Don’t adopt a cat thinking it will solve your rat problems

Yes, cats are great hunters and the natural predator of rats, mice, and other rodents. The symbiotic relationship between cats and humans over the course of human history is in part built on the cat’s ability to keep our grain silos and homes free of mice.

However, cats that catch mice and rats—known as “mousers”—live far shorter lives than those that don’t. There’s a reason for that. Mice and rats are disease-carriers, so when your cat catches a rat, there’s a chance of infection. Or the passage of ticks. Or for the cat to ingest poison that the rat has consumed at some point. Plus, a cat will only be able to do so much, as rats in walls—where they nest and produce successive generations—are out of their reach.

If you adopt a cat, do so because you’re looking for a lovable companion. Leave the “mouser” duties to a professional pest control technician.

Don’t use cheap rat poison

The cheapest way to deal with a rat problem is to use rat poison. However, this is not an effective way to eliminate rats from inside the house. It rarely actually solves the problem, and can often make things worse. In fact, apart from the horrible smell, it can pose a health concern as rats can die in hard to reach areas. We don’t think we need to elaborate on how horrible that can be.

If you do need to clean up a dead rat, be sure to follow the safety guidelines in this article. Most disease transmission between rats and humans occurs when a homeowner touches or gets near a dead rat without proper protection.

Call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite for help with a rat infestation

If you are facing any kind of rodent problem in the Phoenix metro area, call our team at Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services. We have a team of qualified and experienced pest control experts who can quickly eliminate rats inside the house. You can count on our experts to do a professional job in clearing your house from all kinds of rodents and pests.

Here’s how to best prevent a rat infestation in your home

Not only are rats a nuisance and a headache, but they can also pose as a serious threat to your health. Rats carry various types of infectious diseases that can potentially be transferred to people and pets inside of your home. A rat infestation is a very huge problem for a Valley homeowner to have. Working to prevent a rat infestation is a major priority for any homeowner.

These pests can not only cause harm to your physical health, but they can also cause damage to your home’s electrical wiring, a major fire hazard. Another thing to keep in mind with a rat infestation is that the will start to breed … fast. Once one or two rats enter your home, they can multiply and take over your house in the blink of an eye.

Picking up fallen citrus near your home here in Phoenix can help prevent a rat infestation.

Fallen citrus can attract roof rats to your home.

The most common type of rats we have in the Valley are roof rats. When the weather is nice, they tend to be more out and about, but when the chilly desert nights roll around, they seek shelter indoors. They will typically be black in color and have large ears and a long tail.

Roof rats love to snack on fallen citrus fruits and they make their home in people’s attics. They reach the attic from overhanging tree branches of the home’s yard. The best way to prevent these pets from entering your Valley home is to keep your yard free from fallen fruit, and follow these simple steps we have listed below.

Our tips to prevent a rat infestation

1. Seal all entry points

Would you believe that doors and windows are the two most common entry points for rodents into your home? Most people wouldn’t, but the truth is that most rats get into your home by the easiest means they can Sealing your doors and windows will seriously reduce the chances of rats coming into your residence.

If there are large holes on the exterior of your home, these can be sealed with lath metal, hardware cloth, cement, or metal sheeting. You can also fill small holes with steel wool so that rats cannot enter through these spaces, either as well. Most of these materials can be found at your local hardware store. However, you may also want to consider the benefits of a professional home sealing from our team.

For an added layer of protection, use a flash sealant or flex sealant around the base of your home. Any home additions or garages should also be sealed from rodents being able to enter. If you have a home garden and notice rats in there, be mindful of that while entering and leaving your home. These sneaky pests can run through when you leave the door open for even a few minutes.

2. Get rid of any nesting sites or potential nesting sites

If you are suspicious of rodent activity in or around your home, you should immediately begin looking for possible nesting sites. Some common nesting sites include garbage cans, woodpiles, and elevated hay. If you do have a woodpile in your yard, make sure it is at least 100 feet away from your home.

Rats can also nest in old tires, broken-down vehicles, and sheds. Keeping your grass and shrubs trimmed within 100 feet of your home will also eliminate the chances of the rodents making their nests close to the house. A common nesting place for rats here in Phoenix are overgrown flowering bushes, which provides them with shelter and protection from the elements. The closer the nests are to the entry point of your home, the quicker the rats will make their way in for further food and shelter.

3. Call a professional pest control company to help you

If you see any rat activity in your home, your first step should be to call a professional rodent control company like AZ Best Pest for fast, effective results. We will come out and thoroughly inspect your home and take action to remove actual rodents or their nesting sites from around your home. We deal with them so you don’t have to put yourself or your family in harm’s way. These rodents can carry infectious diseases, and we have the professional equipment to get rid of them on the spot.

If you do find yourself with a rat infestation, give Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services a call. We offer free rodent control inspections and—after helping you remove the rats—can help you prevent a rat infestation from happening again down the road.

5 signs you need rodent control in Phoenix this winter

A rodent infestation can quickly go from just one mouse to a full-on problem. Here in Phoenix, we have to deal with several types of rodent infestations, ranging from roof rats to mice. However, how do you know if you have a problem? In this blog, we’ll run through the 5 signs you need rodent control in Phoenix this winter.

If you think you might have mice or rats, the best place to start is by calling our team for a free rodent inspection. This will allow us to determine if you do have rodents, and—if so—what the best path for treatment might be.

Here are the 5 signs you need rodent control

1. Droppings

You need to keep an eye out for rodent droppings in the following areas:

  • Pantry
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Drawers
  • Cupboards

Rodents usually hang out where food is easily available. The types of feces you find may tell you what rodent you’re dealing with and the severity of the infestation. Rat droppings are at least half-an-inch long, while mouse droppings are less than a quarter-inch long. Old droppings are crumbly and hard, and new droppings are shiny and soft.

Approach rodent droppings with extreme caution! Rodents can be a vector for dangerous diseases, so it’s best to be careful cleaning them up. Make sure you call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services for a rodent inspection if you see rat or mice droppings.

2. Gnaw marks

Mice and rats chew a lot in order to keep their teeth sharp. Check any wood, pipes, and wires for bite marks. While you’re checking for signs of gnawing, keep a look out for any loose wood chips or sawdust that may indicate a rodent is chowing down on your home.

3. Alert or excited pets

If you have dogs or cats, you can count on them to alert you of any intruders. Your pets will likely start to act differently if they see, hear, or smell rodents in your home. You may notice your dog or cat appearing more alert than usual. Dogs may bark near the area where rodents may hide, while cats may paw at the area.

4. Urine

Rodents generally have weak bladders. They will urinate anywhere. Use a black light to search for urine trails or pools. Mice and rats also have a distinct urine order that smells musky.

5. Nests

Most rodents like to create nests. They may collect string, shredded paper, furniture stuffing, or pieces of fabric to create a soft and warm environment to rest. You may find these cozy nests in cabinets, boxes, or simply around the floor. Be sure to check dark, relatively secluded places, such as your garage, storage closets, or attic.

Call us for a free rodent inspection in your home

In addition to being just gross, rodent infestations can be extremely harmful to your health and cause costly damage to your home. In order to prevent the situation from getting out-of-hand, it’s important to take action right away with the help of Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.

For the most effective rodent control in Phoenix, contact our team.

Here’s why we hire the best pest technicians in the Valley (and Casa Grande!)

When you call us to service your home, you want to know that our pest technicians will take care of you, your home, and your family. At Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services, you know we will value you as a customer because of how we value everyone we employ.

Pictured: Our pest technicians are amongst the best in the Valley.In this blog, we’ll review some of the ways that we treat our employees, and why you should call our pest technicians for your pest control needs.

Why do people love working for us?

At the end of the day, our business is not about a number and a dollar sign. It is about people building lives for their families. Each of our pest technicians is working to create a meaningful life in and around their career.

People love working for Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services for many reasons:

  • We prepare our employees for success. With extensive training and support, they are equipped to grow professionally and personally.
  • We offer jobs in Casa Grande, Mesa, and Phoenix.
  • Our compensation is fair and competitive.
  • After 20 years in business, anyone can build a lifelong career with us.

Our technicians take pride in the work they do and the company they work for.

Why should employee satisfaction matter to customers?

Simply put, a company has a personality and habits in the same way people do. When a business treats their employees unfairly, they will not have their clients’ best interests in mind, either. We invest in the success of our staff through training, stability, and support.

This is also an investment in our customers, because happy workers who are well-trained and taken care of will go above-and-beyond for our clients. Our business is like a family. The strong bond between us and our pest control techs, makes us want to take care of each other and work together to make our customers happy.

Schedule your free inspection from our great pest technicians!

At Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite Services, we have a deep desire to give the best quality of work to each and every customer. Whether you want your home treated for scorpions, termites, or other pests, we have the most effective tools around.

Get started by scheduling a free pest inspection for your home.

Here are 5 signs you have roof rats

Roof rats are a common pest throughout the Phoenix metro and Casa Grande. Their ability to easily travel from home to home makes this rodent a headache for homeowners. In this blog, we’ll review some of the signs you have roof rats — and when you need to call Arizona’s Best Choice for services.

#1. Half-eaten citrus around your home

One of the reasons that roof rats have flourished in the East Valley is because of the prevalence of backyard fruit trees, especially citrus trees. This provides the rats with a convenient food source close to warmth and shelter.

The rats typically will target the lowest hanging fruit—literally. They’ll eat oranges, lemons, and more that have fallen to the ground.

One of the most effective ways to determine if you have roof rats is to check the fruit that has fallen in your yard. If you’re noticing half-eaten fruit, or fruit with tiny bite marks in it, it might be a sign you have roof rats.

#2. You hear squeaking or scratching noises

Roof rats are generally not quiet pests. In the process of nesting, they’ll often make squeaking or scratching sounds. When it’s quiet at night, listen inside of your house.

If you hear noises that can’t be otherwise explained by your appliances, call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite for a free pest inspection.

#3. Your pets are acting strangely

Take notes on the behavior of your pets. Both cats and dogs have far better hearing and noses than humans, and they’ll often detect the presence of roof rats in your attic before you do.

If they’re constantly staring up at the ceiling, seemingly barking or hissing at nothing, or are trying to get higher to smell, it could be a sign that something is up there worth checking out.

#4. You may see rat droppings

If you have roof rats, you may see rat droppings around your home, outside your home, or in your yard. These droppings may be near the dropped, eaten fruit mentioned in #1.

Reminder: rat droppings, urine, and nest can contain dangerous pathogens and bacteria that can make you very sick. So, keep your distance and call in the experts at Arizona Best Choice Pest & Termite Services.

#5. You may see the rats themselves

Roof rats are generally larger than common mice, and much of their diet—such as citrus and fruit dropped from trees—is found outside. That’s why many Valley homeowners find out they have roof rats by actually seeing one around their home, outside their home, or in a high place.

Call Arizona’s Best Choice Pest & Termite for a free roof rat inspection

If you suspect that your Valley home has roof rats, contact us at Arizona’s Best Choice to schedule your free roof rat inspection. We’ll send one of our experienced techs out to your home to check for signs of roof rats and determine if further treatment is needed.