As California’s climate fades to desert, rats are coming out of their hiding places in search of water. They are coming out to parks to steal water from dog bowls and attacking horse troughs in desperate need of something to drink. They are finding new ways into homes and becoming a menace like never before. Pest control specialists are seeing a new wave of rodents this year, and it’s not just because it’s their normal breeding season. “It’s a very busy time especially with the drought situation,” said Kevin Carpenter with Good Earth Pest Control. Rats are reportedly finding spaces a small as the width of a thumb through which to squeeze into homes.

Since they need at least an ounce of water a day to survive, rats are taking over any place where water is left unattended. Houses that aren’t protected are becoming an oasis for rats seeking shelter from the growing desert conditions. “They’re moving to homes where people might have pets or water features, bird baths, that sort of thing in search of water,” said Carpenter. Carpenter said the rodents will even go as far as to climb trees that are hanging over houses. “Those rodents will climb right up. They’re excellent climbers and they will climb right up the trees and drop down on the roof,” he said. He recommends that homeowners cut off any branches that could give rodents an overhead entry onto any household roof. MORE