There are two subspecies: Eastern Woodrat (N. f. Illinois) and Southern Appalachian Woodrat.  The Southern Appalachian Woodrat is found in the state’s southeast, whilst the Eastern Woodrat is found in the state’s west. Are you looking to get rid of wood rats? then you don’t need to take any kind of stress because Preyon Pest Control is always available to help you; for more information call 708-232-7703.

Wood rats


A medium-sized rodent with long, thick fur, big ears, large eyes, extremely long, noticeable whiskers, and a fuzzy, bicolored tail less than half the length of the body. The fur on the back is grayish-brown with some black, with white on the throat, feet, and underbelly. The hue of the tail varies from blackish brown above to white below.

Species that are similar:

•Brown Rats have longer noses, smaller eyes, and almost bare tails.

•**The Allegheny Woodrat is larger than the Eastern Woodrat, but identification requires careful examination of the skull and dental structures, as well as the assistance of an expert.


The Eastern Woodrat lives largely in forests, but it also frequents caves and rocky outcrops. The Southern Appalachian Woodrat lives in forests and on talus slopes.


They are mostly vegetarians, consuming plants, grasses, seeds, nuts, fruits, and the majority of tree components (buds, leaves, roots, stems, and bark).

Information on breeding:

Woodrats primarily breed from February to September, though they can breed all year. Litter size ranges from 1-6, but averages 2-3, with up to three litters produced every year. Their gestation span is approximately 35 days, and females can mate just after giving birth. The hairless and blind babies open their eyes around the 15th day and are weaned after 3-4 weeks.

Interesting Facts:

Woodrats are known as “pack rats” because they collect glittering objects such as bottle caps, coins, nails, and keys and transport them back to their nests.

Eastern Wood Rats Eat

It’s also essential to know what do eastern wood rats eat? All woodrats are vegetarians, although three species have dietary preferences: The Stephen’s woodrat (N. stephensi) feeds almost entirely on juniper sprigs, while the N. albigula and N. lepida eat a largely prickly pear, cholla cactus, and yucca plants. Owls, weasels, foxes, raccoons, and snakes are major predators of the woodrat.

They appear to feed on mesquite beans and leaves, juniper, and sections of accessible cacti without being harmed by the spines. Creosote bushes, thistles, Ephedra, Mustard plants, sagebrush, and buckwheat are also eaten. Other green foliage, seeds, fruits, acorns, and pine nuts are also consumed. During the summer months, the huge ears help with hearing and give a route to dissipate body heat. Packrats get the majority of the moisture they need from their plant diet, so they don’t need a regular supply of fresh water.

What eats wood rats in the desert

They appear to be unaffected by the spines on the cacti they consume, as their diet consists of juniper, mesquite beans and leaves, juniper, and other accessible plant components. Creosote bushes, thistles, ephedra, mustard plants, sagebrush, and buckwheat are some of the other plants that they consume. They will also consume seeds, fruits, acorns, and pine nuts in addition to various types of green flora. Creosote is their primary source of nutrition throughout the year, despite the fact that they are largely dependent on prickly pear cacti for maintaining their water balance in desert settings. In spite of the fact that they are able to consume food with high levels of resins and oxalic acid, such as the leaves of creosote bushes, these substances affect their water balance and limit their ability to consume other foods. As a result, the population of woodrats is unable to expand in regions where such plants are prevalent.

A wide variety of animals, such as snakes, owls, hawks, coyotes, foxes, weasels, and other carnivorous mammals, are considered to be predators. Bot fly larvae are another prevalent type of parasite that feeds on them.

The breeding season for desert woodrats is the spring and summer months. After a gestation period of 30 to 36 days, females give birth to litters that can have as many as five young. At birth, the young have a birth weight of about 10 g (0.35 oz), are completely blind, and only the very tips of their hairs are visible. After around ten days, their eyes open up. The teeth of newborn desert woodrats are initially spread apart, producing a hexagonal hole between them. These desert woodrats use this opening to fasten themselves to their mother’s teats in such a way that it is difficult to remove them. The teeth return to their natural shape after approximately twelve days, although the young are not fully weaned off their mother’s milk until about four weeks of age on average.  They can survive in captivity for up to five years.

Appearance Of Wood Rats

Except for their tails, wood rats resemble other species of rats. Wood rat has fuzzy, bushy tails, as opposed to most rats, which have scaly, hairless tails. These rats can grow to be up to 18 inches long from nose to tail. They have wide eyes and are grayish-brown in hue, though their coat color varies depending on the season. Wood rats are sometimes known as “pack rats” because they make their nests out of things (plants, sticks, jewels, coins, insulation, furniture stuffing, etc.).

Because these rodents love to eat seeds, nuts, and fruits, gardens, fruit trees, and bird feeders attract wood rats to properties. If given the chance, they will make their way inside to look for suitable nesting sites and to forage for food, feasting on cereals and grains.

Wood rats have opted to nest on your Chicago property for food, water, and shelter. Because these rodents love to eat seeds, nuts, and fruits, gardens, fruit trees, and bird feeders attract wood rats to properties. If given the chance, they will make their way inside to look for suitable nesting sites and to forage for food, feasting on cereals and grains.

Where do wood rats build their nests?

Wood rats build elaborate nests with numerous “rooms.” Outside, they make nests in rock crevices, shrubs, and woodpiles. Wood rats will also nest indoors, in attics, and behind wall voids. They are strong climbers who can enter structures from the ground or the roof.

Are wood rats a threat

Wood rats, like other rodent species in Chicago, are dangerous to have close or with people. With their shed fur, saliva, and feces, they spread diseases and bacteria that make people sick, and they contaminate food sources and home surfaces.

When wood rats live indoors, they may be exceedingly destructive. They destroy upholstered furniture, beds, boxes, books, and other items to aid in the construction of their huge nests. Personal goods including keys, cash, and jewelry are also “stolen” by them to be stored in their nests. Wood rats can also cause damage to a home’s wires, insulation, cables, and pipes.

What is the best way to get rid of wood rats?

Contact Preyon Pest Control if you want to get rid of wood rats in your house or property; we specialize in rodent control! Preyon provides full pest control services, including inspections.

We begin by thoroughly inspecting your property and accurately identifying the rodents on the grounds. We then identify access locations and the factors in or around your structure that attract wood rats. After we finish our inspections, we’ll talk about our findings and offer a treatment strategy to get rid of the wood rats.

You can read more about How do you identify a woodrat in another post. Contact Preyon today to learn more about our mouse and rat control services in Chicago and the surrounding towns. Preyon Pest Control provides the best services to rid of wood rats in house. For more information call us at 708-232-7703.


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