Woodrat

Category:

Actual Size: 14” to 17” long including the tail,.

Characteristics: Large, grayish-brown with a white or grayish belly. Furry tail.

Habitat: Lives in a wide range of environments, from dry deserts to mountains and plains. Constructs bulky exposed nests, and may enter attics, sheds and walls voids of homes.

Habits: 

  • Often known as pack rats or trade rats
  • Attracted to, and collects shiny, bright objects
  • Construct nests out of sticks, cactus, and other debris

Woodrats in El Paso TX and Anthony NM

Woodrats are solitary, nocturnal rodents that are known for their attraction to interesting, shiny objects. When woodrats encounter a bullet casing, coin, soda can tab, or article of jewelry, they will carry it until they encounter another, more interesting object leaving behind the old and departing with the new. This behavior also earned them the names “packrat” and “trade rat.” Woodrats occasionally nest in buildings, feeding on available food within the structure, but most often they continue to feed outside.

Woodrat Environment

Woodrats build bulky, exposed nests constructed out of sticks, cactus, and other organic debris. Woodrats have been observed moving into homes and other buildings under construction. They are excellent climbers and may find their way into attics, spaces between walls, and rock overhangs. Once inside, woodrats have the same tendencies for gnawing and property destruction as do the more common structural rats and mice. Large stick nests beneath a porch, in a woodshed or attic are signs of the presence of a woodrat.

Woodrat Habits and Dangers

Around the nation, woodrats are considered a pest of very minor occurrence; however, at times when these rodents access homes, they can create problems by shredding mattresses and upholstered furniture for lining nests. Woodrats can be an important factor in the transmission of certain diseases and parasites such as fleas. Their role in transmitting disease is considered minor, although dead or dying woodrats should not be handled with bare hands.

If you notice woodrats in or near your El Paso property, contact your rodent control experts.