An adult roof rat requires an opening only the size of a nickel to gain entry, younger rats may be able to enter an opening the size of a dime. Roof rats will eat just about anything, and need to constantly gnaw on items to keep their teeth. Vehicle wiring, wood, vinyl siding, appliance and home insulation, aluminum siding, electrical wiring, paper, and even some types of metal and concrete are no match for a roof rat’s gnawing.
Commercially grown crops, home gardens, livestock and poultry waste, hay, grains, pet food, fruit from trees and vines, trash, leather, tree bark, metal and plastic plumbing (to gain access to water) and even chicken feathers are on a roof rat’s menu. In agricultural areas, they cause significant financial losses due to crop damage.
Roof rats are capable of climbing any rough vertical surface. Bricks, cinder block, and stucco several stories high are scaled with little effort.
Roof rats live approximately one year, but sometimes longer. Females live longer than males. A juvenile roof rat reaches breeding age by 12 weeks, and a female roof rat will have 4 to 6 litters per year. Each litter averages 5 to 8 pups.
Rats must be trapped and completely eliminated not only to preserve property and human health (when found in buildings) but to stop the spread of roof rats to new areas. They carry fleas and ticks, and are known to carry and spread murine typhus, leptospirosis, trichinosis, salmonellosis, rat bite fever, and plague via infected fleas and ticks, in nests, etc. Anywhere a rat has been is a potential source of contamination.
Bats are a wonderful and beneficial member of the mammal family, and are the only mammals with wings. Taking to the desert skies at night, they consume insects, pollinate plants and disburse plant seed. Worldwide, there are over 1,100 species of bats. 40 of those species are found in the United States, and California in certain areas like Phelan.
While bats do use caves and old mines in which to live, some desert species tend to live in cracks and crevices in-between large rocks, under tree bark, etc., while others live in trees. They drink while flying just above water sources, skimming the surface. Many species will eat their own weight in insects every night.
Sometimes bats choose to roost and raise young in places they aren’t meant to be. An unsecured attic is a popular choice. Should bats choose an attic, they can cause a of damage, and deposit large amounts of guano (bat feces.) Bat guano often contains micro organisms that can make people sick. Bats may also be carriers of rabies.
Sometimes a bat will fly in through an open window, entering the living area of a home.
It is very important, in either circumstance, to enlist the services of a trained wildlife control professional-and never an exterminator, for humane and safe bat removal.
Be certain you are consulting with a licensed wildlife control operator, one who is trained in the humane techniques used in removing bats from your home, warehouse, or other enclosed areas.