Austin's Best Rat Exterminator

The two most common rats found in Texas are the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat.

Comparing Norway and Roof Rats

The Norway rat is bigger, lighter in color, and with a tail that is shorter than its body. The Roof rat is a smaller rat that is much darker, often nearly black and has a tail that is longer than the rest of its body.

Norway Rats

The Norway rat (Rattus Norvegicus) is also known as the brown rat, common rat, street rat, or sewer rat, and is widespread across Texas. It is a brown or grey rodent that grows up to 28cm long, with a slightly shorter tail.

  • Color: Brown or grey.
  • Size: Head and body up to 11inches long, tail slightly shorter than that (up to 18 inches nose to tail).
  • Life span: Up to two years.
  • Diet: Omnivorous, eating various plant materials including seeds, grain, nuts, and fruit and then whatever carnivorous options it can tackle, such as mice, young birds, birds’ eggs, and a variety of insects.

Norway rats like to stay close to the ground and are strong diggers that will dig burrows.

Roof Rats

The Roof rat (Rattus Rattus), also known as the black rat, ship rat, or house rat. It is a common long-tailed rodent.

  • Color: Black to light brown with a lighter underside.
  • Size: Head and body 5 to 7 inches long, tail longer than the body (up to 12 inches nose to tail).
  • Life span: Up to one year.
  • Diet: Omnivorous, eating a wide range of foods, including fruits and nuts, seeds, and a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates. They will eat pretty much anything.

Roof rats forage for food above ground and they often run across utility lines and tree branches to enter houses where they generally nest in attics, drop ceilings, and inside walls.

Roof Rat Exterminators - Austin TX - YardDoc Pest Control 600x400
Roof Rat in Tree - Austin TX - YardDoc Pest Control - 600x400

Why Do I have a Rat Problem?

  • Food Source: There will always be a food source nearby as, unfortunately, rats can eat almost anything. This includes the nuts or fruit of a tree, a compost heap, pet food, and bird food.
  • Shelter: Your home provides a place where the rodents can shelter from the elements, under a wood pile, in your attic, under your house, and in your wall voids.
  • Water: Rats need a source of water to sustain them, and your property provides it.

Hire a Professional Rat Exterminator Because...

  • Disease: More than 35 diseases are known to be carried by rats.
  • House Fires: 25% of non-determinable fires are believed to be started by rats gnawing through electrical wires.
  • Property Damage: Given their need to keep their teeth in check, they will gnaw on most things and often this ends up being electrical wires, AC ductwork, timbers, and siding, all of which are costly items to repair.

How to Get Rid of Rats

Be proactive and make your property less attractive.

Get rid of the food/water sources

  • Store dog food in rodent-proof containers and put away pet food and water at night.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Collect nuts and fruit fallen from trees daily.
  • Ensure trash cans are sealed.
  • Do not use open waste food composters.
  • Fix dripping faucets.


  • Seal up any holes that rats could enter through.
  • Trim back trees and branches to be five feet away from the structure.
  • Clean up debris in the garden, piles of leaves, wood piles, old lumber, cardboard, etc. These all provide excellent shelter that you want to eliminate.


Deploy non-secondary poisoning baits around the perimeter of your home to stop rats before they enter.

What About Snap traps?

Snap traps are generally only effective if the area has been cordoned off and the rats are desperate for food; for example, inside a building or an attic that has been sealed off. Trapping also only tends to work on the first night (85% capture) and the second night (15% capture). After that, traps are ineffective.

Get Help From an Experienced Austin Rat Exterminator

Though we will use chemicals if it's absolutely needed to achieve successful pest control, our focus is on organic methods of rat extermination. In the long run, your results last longer and are safer for you, your family, pets, and the environment.

Get in touch to schedule a free inspection from our expert rat exterminator team.


YardDoc provides licensed organic pest control to help you prevent and eliminate unwanted pests, rodents, and critters including mosquitoes, millipedes, termites, grubs, scorpions, bed bugs, spiders, ants, ticks, wasps, and cockroaches.

Pest Control Service Area

YardDoc serves Travis County communities including Austin, Barton Creek, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Lakeway, Leander, Lost Creek, Pflugerville, Rollingwood, Round Rock, Spanish Oaks, Spicewood, Steiner Ranch, Tarrytown, and West Lake Hills.