There’s a lot of talk about rats in Texas and for good reason. These little creatures can be a nuisance and a health hazard if they invade your home or property. But what kind of rats are common in Texas, and what can you do to get rid of them?

This guide will answer all your questions about the different types of rats in Texas and provide information on how to deal with an infestation. Let’s discuss them in detail.

What Are Rats?

Rats are small, long-tailed rodents that belong to the family Muridae. There are many different species of rats, but the most common in Texas is the Norway rat. Other types of rats found in Texas include the black rats, house mice, and cotton rats.

Rats are omnivorous animals, meaning they will eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists mostly of grain, but they will also eat meat, fruits, and vegetables. They are attracted to human settlements because of the abundance of food.

Rats are considered pests because they can cause damage to property and spread disease. They are known to gnaw on wires and insulation, which can cause fires. They also contaminate food with their urine and feces, which can transmit diseases such as typhus, bubonic plague, and salmonellosis.

Rats in Texas

What Are The Types of Rats in Texas?

Different types of rats in Texas include:

1. The Norway Rat

The Norway rat is also known as the brown rat, wharf rat, sewer rat, or common rat. It is one of the largest types of rats, with an average body length of 7 to 9 inches (20 to 23 cm). This type of rat is usually brown or reddish-brown in color, with a lighter-colored belly. Norway rats have small ears, long tails, and small eyes.

With their poor eyesight, rats rely more on their hearing, sense of smell, taste, and touch. Their sense of taste is excellent, and they can detect some contaminants in their food at levels as low as 0.5 parts per million. This allows them to survive in many environments, even ones heavily contaminated with toxins or pollutants.

These rats are also known to be vectors for several diseases. These include Weil’s disease, rat-bite fever, cryptosporidiosis, viral hemorrhagic fever, Q fever, and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. They are carriers of Coxiella burnetii. This is the bacterium that causes Q fever. Seroprevalence rates for this bacteria have been as high as 53% in some wild populations of brown rats.

2. Ship Rats (Roof Rats)

Native to India and other Indo-Malayan countries, Rattus rattus, commonly known as the black rat, has been introduced to all continents by human travel and is most prevalent in coastal areas. Due to its affinity for large ships, a ship rat has also been called a common house mouse or roof rat.

Thriving in tropical regions, competition from Norway rats, Rattus norvegicus, has driven it out of more temperate areas; however, some evidence suggests that the black rat can adapt to harsher cold climates.

They are typically black or light brown with a lighter underside. They are considered a severe pest to farmers as they will eat a wide range of crops. Black rats are omnivores, meaning they will eat almost anything, making them difficult to control and manage.

They can also transmit several viral diseases, such as the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, hantaviruses, and rat-bite fever. Rats can also be infested with several different parasites, including lice, mites, roundworms, and tapeworms. All of these factors make rats excellent vectors for disease transmission.

3. Wood Rats (Pack Rats)

Pack rats are found in various habitats across the western United States and northern Mexico, including deserts, deciduous forests, juniper woodlands, and oak woodlands. They are also found in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States and western Canada.

Pack rats have a distinctly rat-like appearance with their long tails, large ears, and big black eyes. They are also noticeably larger than other types of mice, such as deer mice, harvest mice, and grasshopper mice.

Pack rats are adaptable creatures that can make their homes in a wide range of environments. However, they prefer areas with plenty of covers, such as rocky outcrops or dense vegetation. This provides them with protection from predators, as well as a good source of food.

Types of Rats in TexasClass
The Norway RatMammalia
Ship RatsMammalia
Wood RatsMammalia

What Do Rats Look Like in Texas?

Rats are large rodents that can grow up to 18 inches long, including their tail. They have brown or gray fur, and their undersides are usually lighter in color. Rats have long whiskers and can be distinguished from mice by their size. Rats also have pointy noses and ears that are relatively large compared to their body size.

They are found throughout Texas, in both rural and urban areas. They are particularly common in areas with a lot of human activity, such as near garbage cans or sewer systems. However, they can also be found in more remote locations, fields, or wooded areas.

Rats are often considered pests because they can contaminate food and spread disease. If you think you see a rat, it is essential to contact a pest control professional.

Also Read: How Do Exterminators Get Rid of Rats in Attic?

Are Rats Common in Texas?

Rats are not an uncommon sight in Texas. They are one of the most common pests in the state. While they may not be as prevalent as some other pests, such as cockroaches or mosquitoes, they can still pose a severe threat to your health and home.

They are known to carry several diseases that can harm humans, including salmonella and hantavirus. They can also contaminate food and spread fleas and ticks. If you see a rat in your home or property, it’s essential to take action to get rid of it as soon as possible.

How Do You Get Rid Of Rats In Texas?

You can do a few things to get rid of rodent infestation in Texas. The steps include:

1. Spot The Infestation

The first step is to figure out where the rats are coming from. This can be done by looking for signs of gnawing, droppings, or rub marks. Once you’ve determined where the rats are entering your home, you can begin to take steps to seal off those entry points.

2. Seal Off Entry Points

Rats can squeeze through tiny spaces, so it’s essential to check the inside and outside of your home for any gaps or holes that might be potential entry points. Use caulk or steel wool to fill in gaps larger than a half-inch, and make sure to repair any chewed areas.

3. Set Traps

One of the most effective ways to get rid of rats is to set traps. There are a variety of traps available, so be sure to choose one that is best suited for your particular infestation.

4. Use Repellents

Another way to keep rats away is to use repellents. Several commercially available repellents can be effective in deterring rats.

5. Call A Pest Control Professional

If you’re still having trouble getting rid of rats, it’s time to call a professional pest control company. They will be able to assess the situation and devise a plan to get rid of the rats for good.

What Months Do Rats Come Out In Texas?

Rats are one of the most common pests in Texas and can be a real nuisance. If you’re dealing with a rat problem, you’re probably wondering when they come out so you can take steps to get rid of them.

Rats are most active at night, so that’s usually when you’ll see them. However, they can also be active during the day, especially if they’re looking for food.

In general, rats are more active in the spring and summer months, but this can vary depending on the climate and population density. Rats will be active year-round if there’s a lot of food available.


Are Rats Harmful?

Rats can be harmful to humans in a few ways. They can spread disease. Rats are known to carry a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including the bubonic plague, leptospirosis, and salmonellosis. They can also contaminate food sources with their urine and feces, leading to food poisoning. Additionally, rats can cause property damage by chewing on wires and insulation.

What Are Rats Afraid Of?

Rats are afraid of predators like cats, dogs, and owls. They’re also afraid of loud noises and bright lights. Additionally, certain smells, such as peppermint oil or citronella oil, are repelled by rats.

What Attracts Rats To Your House?

There are a few things that can attract rats to your house. These include food sources, such as garbage cans or pet food bowls; dark, secluded areas; and water sources. Additionally, rats are attracted to houses that other rats have already infested.

Are Rats Dirty?

Rats are often considered to be dirty animals because they live in sewers and other unclean environments. However, rats are quite clean. They groom themselves frequently and will even avoid areas they perceive as dirty.

Where Do Rats Hide During The Day?

Rats typically hide in burrows or in dark, secluded areas during the day. This is because they are afraid of predators and humans. Additionally, rats are more active at night when predators find it harder to see them.

What Smell Attracts Rats?

There are a few smells that attract rats. These include the smells of food and other animals. Additionally, rats are attracted to certain pheromones released by other rats.

What Kills Rat Instantly?

No one thing will kill a rat instantly. However, rats can be killed by traps, poison, or drowning. Additionally, predators, such as cats or dogs, can kill rats.

Will Rats Bite You In Your Sleep?

Rats are unlikely to bite you in your sleep. However, they may bite you if you threaten their nest or feel threatened by you. Additionally, rats may bite you if you try to catch them.

Will Rats Leave On Their Own?

Rats will not leave on their own. They will only leave if they are forced to leave by a predator or if they die. Additionally, rats will not leave without access to food and water. So, to get rid of rats, you’ll need to remove their food and water sources.

Does One Rat Mean More?

If you see one rat, likely, there are more nearby. This is because rats typically travel in groups. Additionally, if you see one rat, there is likely a nest nearby. So, be on the lookout for more.

Are Rats Scared Of Humans?

Rats are generally scared of humans. However, they may become bolder if they feel threatened or if they’re looking for food. Additionally, some rats may have been raised by humans and, as a result, are not afraid of them.

How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Rats?

It can take weeks or even months to get rid of rats. This is because rats reproduce quickly and are difficult to kill. Additionally, removing all of the rats’ food and water sources is important so they will eventually leave.

What Are The Big Rats In Texas?

Several types of rats live in Texas. These include the Norway rat, the roof rat, and the cotton rat. Additionally, several other types of rodents live in Texas, such as the mice and the voles.


In conclusion, rodents can be a nuisance, and each type has its unique characteristics that make them different from one another. When dealing with rats in your home or business, it is essential to know which type you are dealing with to take the appropriate steps to get rid of them. If you are unsure of what kind of rat you have, it is always best to contact a professional pest control company like Texas Bug Control that can adequately identify the type and help you develop a plan to eliminate them. If you have any questions or concerns about getting rid of rodents and rats in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, or any other part of Texas, be sure to contact a professional pest control company like us for assistance.

About the author : Shaun W