Instructing a Real Estate Broker

When Palm Trees Harbour Rats: How Your Palm Tree Could be Home to Roof Rats

by Natalie Adams

It is thought that black rats, also known as ship rats, roof rats, and even palm rats, found their way to Australia on ships arriving from Europe. Since then, this notorious species has flourished throughout Australia, stealing fruit from gardens, gnawing through electrical wires and invading homes via the roof. Black rats are such accomplished climbers that they may even be found living in trees and are especially fond of palm trees.

Unlike Australia's own golden-backed tree rats which were once common across Northern Australia and are now endangered, black rats can use palm trees as staging points from which to invade your home.

If black rats are invading your home and garden on a constant basis, and your garden is home to a palm tree or two, you may have a bad case of "palm rats".

Black Rats (Roof Rats) Prefer to Live in High Places

Although black rats are highly adaptable and can live in most environments, they prefer to live off the ground. This is why they commonly invade the attics and roof spaces of homes. If you have been struggling to stem the tide of black rats plaguing your property, they may be nesting in your palm trees.

Why Black Rats Like Palm Trees

Palm trees provide black rats with protection from the elements and from predators such as dogs and birds of prey. Their nests are usually located amidst the old palm frond skirts which unfortunately allow them to remain unseen during the day. They may also nest in dead palm fronds.

Your Palms Could be Bringing Roof Rats

Since roof rats are such excellent climbers as well as jumpers, it won't be long before they find their way into your home. Even if you have a dog, roof rats can easily evade them by navigating via fences and other structures in your garden.

Keep Rubbish and Debris to a Minimum

Rats prefer to nest close to food sources. Therefore, try to keep your yard and the surrounding area free of rubbish. You should also deprive rats of hiding places on the ground by keeping your grass trimmed and keeping wood piles elevated. While palm trees do provide rats with food such as berries and seeds, they may also partake of any vegetables and fruit that you may be growing in your garden.

If you suspect that rats are using your palm trees as nesting sites, you may need to hire a pest control service to help you eradicate the infestation. Palm tree fronds are often razor sharp so be careful if attempting to trim your palm trees to discourage rats. Your safest bet is to hire a professional with the experience necessary to rid your palm trees of these crafty climbers. 

Contact companies like Allstate Pest Control for more information and assistance.