Tucson residents see more roof rats this summer

By Chad Snow
Published: Friday, July 14, 2023 - 11:17am
Updated: Saturday, July 15, 2023 - 9:08am

A black rat aka roof rat
Getty Images
A black rat, also known as a roof rat

The Valley has long dealt with the ebb and flow of roof rats, which are drawn to the area’s abundant supply of citrus.

Roof-rat populations are now surging in some portions of Tucson. 

University of Arizona entomologist Dawn Gouge recently spoke at a neighborhood meeting, where residents expressed their concerns.

“They’re probably not entirely new for that neighborhood. Maybe they haven’t been as high in population. There may have been something that has caused the population to rise,” Gouge said.

Gouge said the surge is no reason to panic. She urged residents not to attempt chemical treatments, saying that should be left for professionals.

Grapefruit on a citrus tree.
Raul McCullar-Flores
Citrus trees are abundant in central and southern Arizona.