For self defense, rats are nocturnal and become active after a premises has become quiet, or about one 1/2 hour after dusk. When left alone they will roam around day or night. Rats are color blind and have poor vision, but highly developed senses of smell, taste, hearing and touch.
The roof rat is also a house rat and may live in trees, shrubs and in vines on the outside walls of houses. The Norway rat is the most common rat and occurs practically everywhere. Because of individual variations, rats often can’t be separated by color.
Rats are omnivorous but do have preferences. They prefer seeds, fresh vegetables or fruits. Norway rats prefer food high in fat content but will eat just about anything including clothing, leather, bone, lead, and plastic pipes, cement and wood. They will even eat their own injured or weak.
Rats prefer nesting areas out of sight and reach of enemies and nests can be made up of any kinds of materials but they prefer bits of paper, rags, burlap, straw, and wood chips. Roof rats are agile climbers and can shinny the outside of 3 inch diameter pipes or any size pipe within three inches of a wall. They are capable of climbing inside of vertical pipes that are 1 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter.
They are known to be vectors of the following diseases:
- Murine Typhus Fever
- Weil’s Disease
- Food Poisoning
- Hantaviral Infections
- Rat Bite Fever
The presence of rodents reduces the rental value of apartments and stores. The noises they make as they climb, gnaw, and fight between the walls and floors of buildings often keep inhabitants from sleeping. Rats can damage food and property estimated at one billion dollars per year. Rats can damage electrical wiring, causing short circuits and fires.