Rats

Rats are scavengers by nature, along with a good memory they have an excellent sense of taste. A rat can identify certain substances, including rat poison, by only tasting a tiny bit of it.

  • An adult rat can squeeze into your home through a hole as small as the size of a one Rupee coin.
  • Rats can live up to 18 months but most die before they are even a year old.
  • Rats have strong teeth that allow them to chew through glass, cinder block, wire, aluminum and lead.
  • Smell, taste, touch and sound help direct them to their food sources.
  • Rats are responsible for spreading bubonic plague in humans. This is also known as the “Black Death”. Although fleas are primarily responsible for infecting humans, they are originally infected with the plague by feeding on the blood of rats.

BROWN RATS, NORWAY RATS OR SEWER RATS

The Norway rat is also called “Sewer Rat”. Norway rats tend to be larger and more aggressive to animals, humans and each other than Roof rats.

Food:
Norway rats eat a wide variety of food but mostly prefer cereal grains, meat, fish, nuts and some fruits.

Habitation:
When Norway rats invade buildings, they usually remain in the basement or ground floor. They also live in fields, farms, woodpiles and buildings. Their nests are usually lined with shredded paper or cloth.

Impact:
These rats are known for the damage they cause by chewing on materials, urinating on food and eating stored foods. They have also been known to chew on wires, which can cause fires to start. They are known to carry disease and ectoparasites. Rats can also cause deadly attacks on humans when they feel a potential threat to their lives.

Prevention:

  • Rats will eat almost anything, so keep your homes clean and don’t leave food out.
  • Make sure that your home and storage areas are clean and dry.
  • Make sure that you clean your sheds, crawlspaces and garbage cans often.
  • Seal any small holes or visible cracks through which they can come in.

COMMON OR HOUSE RATS, ROOF RATS OR BLACK RATS

Roof Rats are excellent climbers and get their name because they usually live high off the ground, like on the roof of a building. They have very poor vision and are colour blind however they have an extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste. Rats have four to six litters a year and each litter has 6 to 12 babies in it. These rats are only pregnant for about 21 to 23 days and can start reproducing when they are three months old.

Food:
Roof Rats prefer eating fruits, berries, vegetables, cereal, pet food, nuts, grain, slugs, snails and rotten food.

Habitation:
Roof Rats are excellent climbers and they usually live in spaces on the tops of buildings, on roofs or in the attics. They also live in sheds, garages, boxes, ceilings, under floors, in wood heaps and in thick grass.

Impact:
Roof rats cause damage to structures by chewing, eating stored foods and carrying diseases, such as Hantavirus. They have been famous for spreading the highly contagious bubonic plague during the Middle Ages.

Prevention:

  • Rats like to eat, so keep your homes clean and do not leave food out.
  • Make sure that your home and storage areas are clean and dry.
  • Make sure that you clean your sheds, crawlspaces, and garbage cans often.
  • Seal any small holes or visible cracks through which they can come in.