Unwanted Houseguests: Watch Your Trees For Signs Of Rats

If you are a new homeowner and have palm trees or other tall trees near your house, watch out -- they could become pathways to your home for roof rats. These pests love to live in trees for protection and will often make the jump to your home when looking for extra places to nest, especially as weather gets colder. In addition to calling a pest control company, you might want to look at removing some of your trees, especially if they seem to attract rat families over and over again.

Problem Trees

Part of the solution to getting rid of roof rats is to make your yard and home look undesirable to them. That includes getting rid of hiding places. Roof rats seem to really like palms -- the tall trees keep the rats well out of harm's way, and layers of dead fronds make for good climbing and nesting.

Removing a tree, especially a tall palm, is rather drastic, so your first steps should be to just make the trees uninhabitable. Get pest control techs to get rid of the existing rats, and then have a tree service trim the fronds. They need to remove any hanging dead fronds and cut back live fronds that are hanging over your roof or other structures. Any frond or leaf debris at the base of the tree needs to be cleared away immediately. Move woodpiles away from the tree as well.

Last Resort

If you keep getting rats over and over again, you may want to remove the trees. For this you'll need a tree removal service that has experience with palms. Taller palms often have to be cut down in sections, and the service should include removal. There are companies that will actually buy the palms if they can remove the whole tree safely from your yard, but don't count on arranging something like this unless the tree is truly in an open area with wide-open access from the road.

Another thing to take a look at is what's happening in your neighbors' yards. If the rats keep coming in from one particular yard, then you need to get those people to make their yard rat-unfriendly. Depending on the people you have to deal with, that could be easier than removing the whole tree.

No matter what you do, though, you have to get rid of the rats. If they make the jump from the tree to your roof, they can infest crawlspaces and attics and chew through walls and wiring. They do carry some nasty diseases, too. Sacrificing a tree or two to prevent rat infestations in your house is really not a bad trade-off.

If you think you may have to remove trees to stop repeated pest invasions, contact a tree removal company to see how they would go about removing them. Ask about stump removal and hole filling as well.

Contact a service like Coryell Tree Service for more details.

About Me

how to identify tree illnesses and infestations

I spent my youth in the city, but when I got married, I moved out into the country with my new husband. We bought a house on a beautiful, wooded piece of land. It is the sanctuary that I had been missing all of my life. Unfortunately, having not grown up around trees, I was unaware of the fact that several of the trees were being killed by a nasty little beetle. Since those trees were removed, I have taken the time to learn how to identify tree illnesses and infestations before they become so serious that the trees need to be removed. Find out how to identify these issues here on my blog.