Rat Identification Knowing what rats look like can help homeowners confirm infestations. Common household rodents include Norway, roof, and pack rats. Norway rats have brownish fur, hairless tails, and short, furry ears. Slightly smaller, roof rats are black in color with dark tails and hairless ears. Pack rats, or woodrats, average six inches in length with brown or gray fur, hairy tails, and big, furry ears. While species vary in appearance, they are all recognizable by their dark coats, rounded ears, and long tails. Nesting Sites Some species of these pests depend on manmade habitats for shelter and food. Norway rats burrow and nest along foundations or in basements, while roof rats prefer elevated locations like attics. Pack rats are less frequent houseguests, though barns and buildings in wooded areas are prone to infestations. While immature rats of many species resemble mice, rats have disproportionately large heads. Mice are more consistent in size and have triangular heads, pointy snouts, thin tails, and large eyes and ears. Conversely, rats have beady eyes and thick tails. Diseases & Hazards Personal health and wellness are at stake when rats are present. In addition to rat-bite fever and food poisoning, rodents can spread Hantavirus, a serious disease transmitted through breathing infected air or direct contact with rat poop and urine. The pests can also gnaw on electrical wires and support beams. This not only incurs costly repairs, but may create fire hazards or undermine the structural integrity of homes. Trained to handle these risks, the professionals at Critter Control can get rid of stubborn rat infestations.