Dave's Urban Wildlife Control

Humane Capture & Removal

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Wood Rats

Identification

Eight species of woodrats (genus

Neotoma) occur in North America.

 Locally known as pack rats

or trade rats, these rodents are about

the size of the common Norway rat.

They are distinguishable from Norway

rats by their hairy rather than scaly

tail, soft, fine fur, and large ears. They

usually have light-colored feet and

bellies.

General Biology, Reproduction, and Behavior

Woodrats climb readily and are usually

active at night. Most species build

a large stick den or house on the

ground or in trees, but some species

live in rocky outcroppings. These

houses are typically occupied by one

individual or by a female and her

young. One animal may inhabit several

houses. A nest, usually made of

finely shredded plant material, is

located within the larger house. Breeding

usually occurs in the spring.

Woodrats produce 1 to 4 young per

litter and may produce more than 1 litter

per year in the southern parts of the

United States.

Legal Status

Woodrats are classified as nongame

animals. In most states they can be

taken (controlled) when they threaten

or damage property. Check with your

local wildlife or agriculture department

for laws and regulations specific

to your area. For example, the Key

Largo woodrat (Neotoma floridana

smalli) was federally listed as

endangered in 1991.

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Did you Know

Food left out for household pets is often equally attractive to some wildlife species. In these situations, the wildlife have suitable food and habitat and will usually become a nuisance.

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