Species category: Rodent
Scientific Name: Rattus rattus
Adults are typically 180-230mm with a longer tail length of 180-240mm. They weigh 170-340g. Droppings are useful for identification; theirs are 12mm long and formed to a point.
As per the name Roof Rats are expert climbers and are usually black to light brown in colour with a lighter underside. The tail is longer than their body, they have poor eye sight, but they make-up for this with their keen sense of hearing, smell, taste and touch.
Roof Rats originated from India and Eastern Africa and can now be found worldwide.They are often found outdoors and tend to live in fields and farmlands. They will also climb into buildings and structures when food sources are no longer readily available.
Roof Rats have incisors that grow at a rate of 4 inches per year. Rats control their incisor teeth by continuously chewing, which can result in extensive damage. They will chew on anything that comes in their path causing considerable destruction.
They also urinate and produce droppings frequently; contaminating everything they come into contact with. Roof rats are quickly able to detect and avoid new objects placed in the familiar environment.
Carriers of over 45 types of diseases, Roof Rats contaminate water, food and the environment. In nursing homes they are also known to eat away body parts of small children in India. Rats cause direct food losses to field crops and stored food and food production chains, as well as indirect food losses, such as packaging destruction and contamination with faeces.