Mouse poking head out of a hole in the wall of a house | SOS Exterminating serving Gilbert, Arizona

Are Rodents Common in Arizona During the Winter?

With colder weather comes unwelcome rodents, and, unfortunately, with these critters comes trouble for yourself and your home or business. Stay informed on the risks of rodents and how a professional can help you rid your home of them. 

Rodents in Arizona 

Common rodents native to Arizona are rats, mice, and gophers. These pests are active year-round, and most tend to seek shelter when temperatures drop. Gophers are most active in the fall and spring due to ideal soil conditions. 

Different rodents display different signs when present indoors. Although you may not see them, you may hear them or find physical evidence. Rats and mice tend to leave behind droppings and often make scratching noises as they travel. Gophers leave mounds in the soil that they burrow in. 

A Closer Look: Prevalent Winter Rodents

Although Arizona residents generally experience mild winters, rodents such as rats and mice are still more likely to seek refuge indoors during the colder winter nights. These unwelcome guests can wreak havoc on a residence or business. 

Rodents can serve as vessels for dangerous pests and zoonotic diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hantaviruses, spread mainly by rodents, can cause serious health conditions for humans. 

One example is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). This respiratory disease is a result of Hantaviruses and can be fatal in humans. They also can chew through electrical wires and pose a fire hazard.


The packrat, any rat of the rodent genus Neotoma, is a common, local pest. Packrats are also known as wood rats or trade rats. They can be distinguished from mice by their large size and other rats by their furry tails and white underbellies. Packrats get their nickname from their hoarding behavior; they are best known for their nest-building and tendency to collect small objects. 

They can quickly become a nuisance in your home, as their attraction to shiny objects leads them to collect jewelry and other personal belongings. Packrats tend to nest in places such as attics or garages. They can climb and squeeze into small areas, making their entrance into most buildings easy and indetectable. 


Another nuisance that is prevalent in the winter is the mouse, a rodent of the genus Mus. Mice are much smaller than most rodent species. They are not solitary creatures; mice travel in packs can quickly multiply if not addressed by a professional. They are often not spotted but identified by the damage they cause while out of sight. 

Mice are hard to get rid of and can quickly multiply if not promptly handled by a professional. A primary sign of mice is a significant amount of droppings. In addition to being unsanitary and carrying diseases, they can also destroy belongings. 

Overview: Handling Winter’s Pests 

We strongly recommend that you contact a trusted professional if you believe you are experiencing rodent infestation. At SOS Exterminating, our highly-knowledgeable team will assess your situation and devise a personalized plan for your pest control. Our Integrated Pest Management approach helps control present pests and prevent issues from arising in the future.