- Common Name(s): Roof Rat, Black Rat, Ship Rat
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Muridae
- Common Species: Rattus rattus
- Commonly Confused With: Other Rodents
How to Identify?
The roof rat is between 7-9 ounces. It will have a long, scaly tail. They have short brown to black hair, and their feet, tails, and large ears are mostly, if not completely, hairless. They have large eyes, and usually, leave a dirt/grease trail in areas used for entrance/exit.
Where do they live?
The roof rat lives outdoors, but can commonly find its way into structures such as warehouses, homes, businesses, graineries, etc. When inside, they like to frequent attics or rafters and can be found in any man-made structure.
What do they eat?
These rodents are particularly fond of fruits and vegetables, but they will eat pretty much any food source, whether intended for humans or animals, that they come across.
What do they do?
These rodents are mostly nocturnal, but they can be active during the day, usually when foraging for food. In addition, these rodents have a tendency to defecate indoors, which contaminates food, dishes, etc. They are major problems in areas such as stores, warehouses, and granaries.
The roof rat can cause numerous issues indoors due to their constant gnawing to grind down their constantly growing teeth. They can have up to 6 litters a year, usually giving birth to 4-9 young per litter! They have been linked to the spread of many known diseases to humans, like the plague and typhus.
- Texas Tech University Roof Rat. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/tmot1/rattratt.htm
Author: G. Wyatt West– B.S.E.S University of Georgia 2017; Board Certified Entomologist
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