Roof Rat aka Black Rat
- Black or brown, can be over 40 cm long, with a long tail, large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose.
- Body is smaller and sleeker than the Norway rat.
- Fur is smooth. Nests inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood.
- Excellent climber that can often be found in the upper parts of structures.
- They are nocturnal by nature and are accomplished climbers. As their name suggests, roof rats may be found in elevated areas such as trees, rafters, attics and roofs.
- Droppings are 12 to 13 mm with pointed ends.
- Grease marks are produced as the rodent travels along an edge, and the oils in their fur are deposited on the surface. This serves as evidence of rodent activity.
- Becomes sexually mature between 2 and 5 months, producing 4 to 6 litters per year that consist of 6 to 8 young each time.
- Life expectancy is up to 1 year.
- Roof rats are prodigious breeders. Females can breed year-round. Within a year, one female may be responsible for up to 40 new rodents.
- They prefer to consume fruits (sometimes referred to as the “fruit rat” or “citrus rat”) and nuts, although roof rats are omnivorous and will feed on almost anything available to them.
- Also known to consume tree bark, meat and grain.
- oof rats are also food hoarders, stashing supplies of food such as seeds and nuts.