Rats can cause several problems for you and your family. They chew through electrical wires, destroy the home’s structure, spread diseases, contaminate food and surfaces, and cause a lot of stress. 

Rats have many ways of accessing your home, so even the cleanest house may be no match for Houston rats. You could even be inviting unwanted rats into your home without even realizing it. 

Several everyday things attract rats to Houston homes. Thankfully, a lot of these things are avoidable. Read through the following list and find the best solution for you. 

Everyday Things That Attract Rats


A brown rat peeping through a hole in wood

Rats are sneaky and can enter through holes in the foundation. They have an impressive way of temporarily flattening their bodies to squeeze through tiny holes and narrow cracks. 


Rodents are warm-blooded animals and often seek warmer shelter. Additionally, a warm and cozy place is ideal for a rat nest. 


Similar to bugs and cockroaches, rats gravitate to clutter. The material in these areas is ideal for nesting. Clutter-prone areas include garages, attics, and small storage spaces. 

Compost Piles and Pet Waste

Regularly leaving out pet waste and decaying food products is like a buffet for rats. 

Food Sources

A group of rats eating eating leftovers from spilled trash

Sweet foods and other unattended food products tend to attract rats, such as:

  • Fallen fruits or vegetables in your garden
  • Berries
  • Pet food
  • Nuts
  • Meat
  • Improperly stored leftovers

Water Sources

Water from pet bowls, birdbaths, leaky pipes, or standing water all attract rats. Overwatered plants also serve as a source of standing water.


Thick vegetation provides a good hiding place and protection from predators.


Overhead photo of a rat in a garbage can

People aren’t the only ones with sensitive noses. Rats are heavily attracted to smells such as those coming from grills, garbage bins, pet waste, and outdoor kitchens. 

Problems Caused By Rats

Rats can cause several problems, and their continuous growth can lead to a costly infestation. At least 20 percent of the world’s food is eaten or contaminated by rats and mice each year. 

You’ll want to rid your Houston home of rats immediately for the following reasons:

  • They can dig up your vegetable garden and feed on newly planted crops, causing damage before harvest.
  • Their teeth never stop growing, so they chew on many things, including:
    • Clothes, cabinets, food packages, leather goods, furniture, beddings, and electrical wiring
  • Reproduction leads to rodent infestation.
  • They can chew their way into your car seats for shelter.
  • They can tunnel into your home’s insulation.
  • Their urine, droppings, and hair can all contaminate your food.
  • Rats carry parasites and diseases such as salmonella and hantavirus. 

How To Prevent Rats in Your Houston Home

A rat peering through a hole in a home's utility pipe

Now that you know the potential risks of having rats in your home, here’s how to prevent them. 

  • Start by repairing any leaky pipes and fixtures. 
  • Use airtight containers to store food. 
  • Ensure trash bags have tight-fitting lids.  
  • Rats can leap 36 inches, so consider building plant beds at least that high.
  • Check for entry points in the structure’s foundation, window screens, vents, and utility pipes.
  • Maintain a clean and clutter-free home and yard. 
  • Trim trees, shrubs, and limbs to be at least four feet from your home.
  • Remove debris from your property, including wood and old appliances. If you must keep large amounts of lumber, store them 18 inches above the ground. 


It’s best to try to prevent a rat problem before it arises and becomes an infestation. There are several ways to get rid of rats in your Houston home, including commercial traps, bait, and natural deterrents. 

The best way to eliminate rats in your Houston home is to call for a professional pest control team. We’ll ensure your Houston home is rodent-free.

Call us today to learn more about our rat prevention and elimination solutions!