Above average rainfall and moderate temperatures have created a bountiful crop of grass this year. Vegetation has also helped enhance the local rodent and bat populations.

Pest control specialist Tracy Philippi, owner of Better Wildlife Control, and Village Hardware owner, Larry Donahoo, both have an abundance of customers combating the local rodents.

“Who invited the Pied Piper here?” Donahoo asked. “It’s been an exceptional year.”

Besides the additional moisture, Philippi believes there is more bat migration occurring this year. He has seen plenty of Mexican and pocket free-tailed bats. They are furry and prefer caves but will easily settle into attics, he said. They’re not vampire bats, so don’t be frightened, he advised.

Fighting the rodent invasion involves some strategy and tactics, both men admonished. First, you can use bait traps inside and outside. But the bait attracts the rodents, which means you may be inviting them inside.

Donahoo said he has been ordering mouse and ant traps steadily all summer. A few times he was temporarily out of supplies, but he can re-order quickly and has ample armaments now.

The Hill is not the only location confronting the expanding rodent population. Last week, The Desert Sun also wrote about a growing mouse population.

Mice and rabbits are an appetizing course on snake menus. Philippi said he has captured more than 180 rattlesnakes in the past six months

In contrast with Philippi, who has encountered several large bat invasions in local attics, Donahoo has not had an exceptional demand for bat ordnance. Instead, he has been selling bat houses. Residents will offer bats this sanctuary, in lieu of human residences, and expect the flying mammals to control the evening mosquito and gnat populations.