What are rats?
Rats are warm-blooded mammals that are found living throughout the world, they are very adaptable and can live in a variety of climates and living conditions. Like all other rodents they have sharp, continuously growing front incisors; they constantly need to chew on hard objects in order to prevent the teeth from overgrowing. The two species of rodents that are common in our area are the roof rat and Norway rat.
Named roof rat because they are excellent climbers, they are often found climbing trees in order to access buildings through the roof. Roof rats are dark brown or black in color with some gray hairs mixed in; they have a contrasting lighter colored underbelly. The body of the roof rat has a long, thin, delicate build and grows to between 6-8 inches in length. Their long scaly tail adds another 6-8 inches to their total body length. Roof rats have a pointed nose, large ears and large eyes.
The adult Norway rat has a long “heavy” body that grows to between 7 and 9 ½ inches in length; their tail adds another 6 to 8 inches to their total body length. Because of their heavy body they aren’t great climbers and typically invade basements and the first floors of homes and buildings. Norway rats have a rounded blunt nose, protruding small black eyes, small ears, and a bi-colored tail (darker on top, lighter on the bottom). Their shabby fur is brown and is speckled with black hairs; the fur on their underbelly is lighter in color-usually gray or white.