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All about Roof Rats

The roof rat is dark brown to black in color and measures 330mm to 450mm in length including tail. They weigh 140grams to 220grams, are slender, and their ears are large and nearly hairless. Their droppings are long and cylindrical.

Nesting Requirements
Roof rats nest outside in trees, woodpiles and debris, and in dense vegetation. Inside, roof rats prefer to nest in the upper levels of a building in the attic and ceiling.

Food Preferences
Roof rats are omnivorous, but tend to more vegetarian preferences. Typical food is fresh fruit, plant material, nuts and seeds, vegetables and even tree bark.

Natural Enemies
Dogs, cats, snakes, birds of prey, owls, and other rats.

Medical Importance
Rats can spread disease. Sometimes they transmit disease directly by contaminating food with their urine or feces or by biting people. Indirectly, they transmit by infecting as when fleas bite a disease-infected rat, then a person or other animal.

Potential Damage
Rat burrows can cause structural damage by undermining the foundations of buildings, roads and walkways, can cause damage by gnawing, damaging plastic and lead pipes, door frames, upholstery, and electric wires, and can cause damage through the destruction and contamination of stored foods.

 

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