Expert Answer

Q: How do I tell the difference between wood rats (pack rats) and roof rats and does it matter?

A:

Chandler, Arizona

In certain areas, you can find both types of rodents and Arizona definitely has both. The easiest way to differentiate between roof rats and wood rats is to look at the tail. Roof rats have a hairless tail and wood rats have a shorter but bushy tail (like a pipe cleaner). It is important to make that identification before any management program is started. Remember that some rodent species are considered threatened or endangered and this can include wood rats.  Once you know which type of rat you are dealing with, you can set up a management program that may or may not include the use of rodenticides. There are many species of rats and not all species are listed on commonly used commercial rodenticides. There are many species of rats and not all species are listed on commonly used commercial rodenticides. Here is a possible list of potential list but the “The most commonly encountered rats in Chandler are roof rats and white-throated wood rats*.”

Roof rat Rattus rattus,

Norway rat Rattus norvegicus,

Bushy-tailed wood rat Neotoma cinerea,

White-throated wood rat Neotoma albigula,

Desert wood rat Neotoma lepida,

Mexican wood rat Neotoma mexicana,

Stephen’s wood rat Neotoma. Stephensi,

*Information provided by Dr. Dawn Gouge, Public Health Entomologist. University of Arizona and Dr. Niamh Quinn. University of California Cooperative Extension

 
 
Send Us Your Question!

Or explore additional expert answers by clicking on a "tag" below.

Tags: