If you see a rat

Safely take a picture, note the location, and send the information to:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 310-FARM (3276)

Or phone your local bylaw agriculture fieldman office.

It is illegal to own pet rats in Alberta.

Norway rat

Defining features:

  • Colour: Grey-brown on top, white to light grey underneath
  • Size: Body and tail are on average 40 cm; tail is almost as long as body
Norway rat

Roof rat

Defining features:

  • Colour: Brown/grey/black
  • Size: Body is 16 to 20 cm; tail is longer than body
  • Other features: When pulled forward, its ears can cover its eyes
Roof rat

Rodents mistaken for rats

Muskrat

Muskrats are commonly seen travelling overland and sometimes far distances from water, especially in the fall and spring.

Defining features:

  • Colour: Brown/black
  • Size: Body is approximately 45 to 70 cm long
  • Other features: Large toenails on hind feet and long, scaled, blackish, flattened tail
Muskrat

Pocket gopher

Defining features:

  • Colour: Grey/brown
  • Size: Body is approximately 15 cm long
  • Other features: Cheek pouches, claws, short tail
Pocket gopher

Deer mouse

Defining features:

  • Colour: Variations of brown
  • Size: Body is 8 to 10 cm long
  • Other features: Large, beady eyes and large ears
Deer mouse

Squirrel

Defining features:

  • Colour: Reddish, rusty brown
  • Size: Body is approximately 20 cm long
Red squirrel

Richardson ground squirrel/gopher

Defining features:

  • Colour: Tan coloured back with creamy white belly and black tip on tail
  • Size: Body is 20 to 24 cm; tail is longer than body
  • Other features: Tiny ears, large eyes, bushy tail
Richardson Ground Squirrel

Vole

Defining features:

  • Colour: Dark brown to reddish brown
  • Size: Body approximately 9 to 14 cm long
Vole

Ord’s kangaroo rat

Defining features:

  • Colour: Brownish orange with greyish black on the midline
  • Size: Body approximately 10 to 12 cm; tail can be 13 to 16 cm long

Bushy tailed woodrat (pack rat)

This rodent is also a beneficial species native to Alberta.

Defining features:

  • Colour: Silver grey to dark grey to brown
  • Size: Body approximately 20 to 25 cm, tail length is 10 to 21 cm
Bushy tailed wood rat

Size and feces comparison

 

Rodent size comparison
Rodent size comparison, from top to bottom: mouse, vole, juvenile roof rat, pocket gopher, Norway rat.

 

Rodent feces comparison
Rodent feces comparison: left is mouse feces, right is rat feces.

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