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Houston Pest Control Guide


Houston Pests RatsThere are two major species of rats in Houston, the Norway rat and the black rat or roof rat.

These two kinds of rats have different habits and will respond to different rodent control strategies and treatments, but any kind of rat inside your home can spread disease and should be a cause for concern.

Norway Rat

The Norway rat, or common sewer rat, is a large rat that can grow up to 10 inches, even without the tail. The Norway rat has a grayish-brown fur covering its body, except for the hairless feet and tail, and a lighter-colored underbelly. These rats originated somewhere in Asia and are now successfully established across the world. These rats are extremely adaptable to human environments, preferring to live in damp conditions such as sewers and drainage systems. The bayous that flow through Houston also provide a perfect home for these rats, so they may be particularly numerous in nearby neighborhoods, but they are common everywhere in the city. Although they are by nature shy and will usually avoid contact with humans, Norway rats are extremely dangerous animals because they can spread a number of highly dangerous diseases.

How Do I Get Rid of Norway Rats?

When Norway rats infest homes, they will usually make nests in basements, crawlspaces, or other less-frequently used area of the house. Keeping garbage cans well sealed and keeping the area around your house clean can be helpful in reducing the chances of rats coming into your home. Norway rats breed quickly, so if you see a rat or see gnawed wood, droppings, or other evidence of the presence of rats in your home calling in professional rodent control is highly recommended.

Black Rat

The black rat, or roof rat, has dark, soft, smooth fur with a sharply pointed face and large ears. These rats can grow up to a foot in length, including the tail. As the name roof rat suggests, they are very good climbers and can often be seen in Houston walking along tree branches and power lines.

The black rat is probably the most famous transmitted of infectious disease in human history. It was this species of rat that was responsible for the spread of the bubonic plague in Europe in the late middle ages, a disease which killed as much as 60% of the population of the continent in a few short years. Fortunately, plague is less of a problem in Houston, but these rats still spread many dangerous diseases and should be treated as a serious threat to health if they are in your home.

How Do I Get Rid of These Rats?

If you have rats in your home, sealing off their points of entry is an important part of getting rid of them. This can be complicated with black rats, because they are excellent climbers and so their point of entry may be at any level on the house, from the roof to the basement. Having a pest control professional go over your home and identify possible points of entry is an important part of getting rid of these rats.

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