Rats are commensal. Consequently, they are found anywhere people spend their time. Our trash and litter become perfect for both the rats nesting sites and their meals. So as long as we have this debris, rats will be living near us. While there is so much we can discuss regarding rats, the focus today is on one specific topic. What do Rats Eat?
Over the years, I have heard rats called stray rats, beach rats, fruit rats, garbage rats, and even sewer rats. These are generic names the public uses to describe rats generally in the location in which they have been seen. Florida Rats consists of two main species. These are the Roof Rat and the Norway Rat. Here we will discuss what each of these types of rats likes to eat.
Roof Rats are somewhere between 6-8 inches long excluding the tail. Their tails are longer than the head and body combined. Their rat droppings are black and moist, when fresh, and are about a half-inch long and pointed at the end.
They are opportunist feeders. Meaning, if their favorite foods are not around, they will be forced to consume other types to stay nourished. However, although they are considered omnivorous, roof rats tend to feed more on the vegetarian side. Roof rats are a huge fan of fruit, seeds, vegetables, and nuts.
So, when trying to catch this type of rat, be sure to use some of their favorite foods. Or, use anything they have been chewing on since they are accustomed to eating what your home has to offer. To discourage Roof Rats, be sure to remove both fresh and rotting fruit from your fruit trees. Also, remove any fruit that has fallen on the ground.
The dropping of Norway rats is larger than that of the roof rat. They are about three-quarters of an inch long compared to the one-half inch length of the Roof Rat and are also black and moist, when fresh. Also, the Norway Rat droppings have a blunt end. The tail is a bit different for this rat. It is shorter than the length of the head and tail combined. The rat itself can grow up to eighteen inches in length.
The Norway Rat is also omnivorous. It has been known to eat fish, dog food, meat, fruit, livestock feed, and even vegetables. So, for the Norway Rat, pretty much any food it finds it will eat. So, just like the Roof Rat, be sure to remove both fresh and rotting fruit from your fruit trees. As a result, remove any fruit that has fallen on the ground.
So, when trying to catch this type of rat, be sure to use some of their favorite foods. Or, use anything they have been chewing on since they are accustomed to eating what your home has to offer. Make sure whatever you use does not easily fall off of a trap. We have found that salami and even peanut butter are great attractants. These are items the Norway Rat is forced to eat directly from a trap. Consequently, it is much easier to catch these pests.
Summary – What do Rats Eat?
As you can see both the Norway Rat and the Roof Rat are omnivores. The Roof Rat does prefer more of a vegetarian diet. Whereas the Norway Rat will also eat meat whenever it is available for consumption.
The Norway Rat has a large fecal pellet, and it is blunt on the end. Compared to the Roof Rat fecal that is pointed at the ends. The Roof rat has a tail that is longer than its head and body combined. While the Norway Rat has a tail that is shorter than the head and body.
If you have any questions about either rat, please do not hesitate to contact Earth’s Best Natural Pest Management. We can be reached at 1-800-634-1313 or through our website www.insectfree.com