Rat Identification & Prevention

What are rats?

Rats are a type of rodent that are eco-important out in the wild, away from people. Rats act as prey for many wild animals, and they are scavengers helping to get rid of dead plant and animal materials; when rats live near people, however, they can become unwelcome pests because of the problems they cause and the dangers they create.

a rat crawling on a wooden structure inside of a home

Two of the most common species of rats that Texas homeowners find invading their properties are the Norway rat and roof rat.

Norway rats
Norway rats have dense, heavy bodies, which make them poor climbers. They have brown fur with lighter colored underbellies, as well as blunt noses and scaly, hairless tails. Norway rats usually enter into buildings at ground level. 

Roof rats
Roof rats have smaller, thinner bodies that allow them to climb structures. Their bodies have dark brown or black fur scattered with gray hairs, and their underbelly fur is lighter in color. Additionally, their noses are more pointed than those of Norway rats, but they also have a scaly, hairless tails.

Are rats dangerous?

Rats are not only unwanted pests but dangerous pests and should never be allowed on your property or inside your home. When living inside a home or other structure, they will contaminate surfaces and food with their saliva, urine, and excrement. Rats have poor eyesight; to find their way from their nest to food sources, they travel along walls and furniture, leaving behind grease and dirt marks. Rats carry and spread human pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and parasites. To prevent their teeth from overgrowing, rats chew on almost anything they come across, including wires, pipes, flooring, sheetrock, and personal property such as clothing, wallpaper, and furniture.

Why do I have a rat problem?

Rats want to stay hidden from people as much as possible, but they will take advantage of any food, water, or shelter our homes, businesses, and yards provide. Food is the biggest thing that attracts rodents; pet food, trash cans, compost, gardens, and outdoor eating areas are all high-traffic areas for rats. Once comfortable foraging for food on your property, it is only a matter of time before these secretive creatures will decide to stay and nest near or inside your structure.

Where will I find rats?

Rats live and nest in a variety of locations. Norway rats are burrowers; they often burrow under or next to building foundations and beneath woodpiles or piles of debris. They also burrow under moist soil in gardens, fields, and along riverbanks. Roof rats prefer to nest up off of the ground in trees, shrubs, and high dense vegetation.

While foraging for food or if the weather outside becomes too uncomfortable for them, rats will move inside; they only need a space the size of a quarter! Inside roof rats nest in upper levels behind walls voids and inside attics. Norway rats inhabit lower levels, including basements and crawlspaces.

How do I get rid of rats?

For Texans looking for exceptional pest control services, turn to the locally owned and operated experts at Lonestar Safe Pest. We take pride in offering our residential and commercial pest control customers excellent customer service; customer satisfaction is our number one goal. Our experienced professionals understand the pest pressures Texas home and business owners face each day.

At Lonestar Safe Pest, we will work with you to eliminate pests from your property once and for all, using our modern pest control solutions. If you would like to learn more about our home pest control or commercial pest control services, reach out to Lonestar Safe Pest today!

How can I prevent rats in the future?

Protect your Texas property from rats with a combination of our professional wildlife control services and our helpful prevention tips:

  • Remove overgrown vegetation back away from the exterior walls of your home.

  • Place woodpiles a distance from the outside of your structure.

  • Caulk any holes in the foundation and exterior walls.

  • Install tight-fitting caps on chimneys.

  • Keep locking lids on trash cans and compost bins.

  • Remove unnecessary piles of debris from your property.

  • Regularly harvest vegetables and fruit from trees and gardens.

  • Cut tree branches away from the outside of your structure, especially the roofline.

 

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