Appearance and Size Facts
- Belong to the order Rodentia
- Rats are short-bodied rodents
- Usually having a pointed muzzle, a long slender tail, and dexterous forepaws
- They have overly sized front teeth
- Size: 5 to 18 inches
- The most common rodents found in homes are the Norway rat and the Roof rat
Behavior and Habitat
The term rat usually refers to the two most common nuisance rat pest species, the Norway rat and the Roof rat. Both species originated in Asia, but have spread throughout the world by human travel overseas. They both belong to the genus Rattus, which includes 51 species. The average life span of a rat is 2 years. Rats have poor eyesight and are colorblind. They primarily see light, shadow, and movement. They do have very developed sense of hearing, smell, touch and taste. Their hearing is ultrasonic.
Signs of Infestation
Worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. Rodent-borne diseases are spread directly to humans through bite wounds, contaminated food or water, and through breathing in germs that may have been stirred into the air. Diseases from rodents are also spread indirectly to humans by way of ticks, mites, and fleas that transmit the infection to humans after feeding on infected rodents. Rats are also known for causing damage to homes and structures. They often chew on electrical wires creating the potential for a structure fire. Rats can also cause insulation damage, thereby decreasing the thermal efficiency of your home, and water damage from chewing on roof shingles, water pipes, and fascia boards.
Tips for Prevention
Maintain a clean environment and seal all crevices and holes. Commensal rodents look for entry points for shelter from cooler weather.
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