Roof Rats. Like Norway rats, roof rats eat a wide variety of foods, but their food preferences are primarily fruits, nuts, berries, slugs, and snails. Roof rats are especially fond of avocados and citrus and often eat fruit that is still on the tree. When feeding on a mature orange, they make a small hole through which they completely remove the contents of the fruit, leaving only the hollowed out rind hanging on the tree.
The rind of a lemon is often eaten, leaving the flesh of the sour fruit still hanging.
Their favorite habitats are attics, trees, and overgrown shrubbery or vines. The black rat (Rattus rattus), also known as the ship rat, roof rat, house rat, is a common long-tailed rodent of the genus Rattus (rats) in the subfamily Murinae. The species originated in tropical Asia and spread through the Near East in Roman times before reaching Europe by the 1st century and spreading with Europeans across the world. Black rats are generalist omnivores. They are serious pests to farmers as they eat a wide range of agricultural crops.
Roof Rats Habits and Biology:
The Roof Rats become sexually mature in just a couple months. Females become sexually mature in 68-90 days with 5-8 pups per litter. They have 4-6 liters per year.
Because the Roof Rats climb well, common nesting sites are above the ground. They will nest in trees, attics, voids along the roof line, and in ceilings. Like squirrels, they enter homes and are found in attics. In the absence of Norway rats or if their population grows, they can be found in burrows or piles of rocks.
Dense vegetation, lush landscapes, fruit trees, dog areas will attract Roof rats. They seek cover. They will also construct globular leafy nests in trees and enter buildings by tree branches, utility lines.
Roof Rats are suspicious like Norway Rats. Be patient in trapping and baiting. It may take a few days for them to adjust to a new change in the environment and take the bait or get trapped.
Peak times for Roof Rat activity is at dawn or dusk; they are nocturnal. If they are heard during the day, the population is large.