Rats are animals that most people try to avoid having in or around their home. They originated in Australia and Asia, but are now living all over the planet. There are different species of rats, so it can be difficult to know exactly what species that you are facing.
Most times, rats are thin-tailed, medium-sized rodents. They can be brown, grey, or black. Rats are easy to tell apart from mice, because they are larger, have longer legs and thinner, longer bodies.
There are over 60 species of rats, so this means there are rats of all sizes. Most species of rats are around five inches long. The largest species of rat is the Bosavi Woolly Rat, which is 32.2 inches long and 3.3 pounds, so it is around the size of a small cat.
Rats can be found all over the world, so the species of rats will depend on the area of the world you live in. The most common species of rat is the Norway rat, which are also called brown rats. House rats are also very common. The reason why these species live on every continent, other than Antarctica, is they traveled by boat across the world.
House rats prefer warmer areas, whereas the Norway rat prefer a temperate climate. Most rats live anywhere that humans are living. However, there are some species that live in trees.
Unlike other species of rats, the Norway rat is awake during the day and night. Most species of rats are nocturnal. Most times, rats will stick together and are mainly found in packs. Packs will live close together, but mating pairs will have their own space. Packs will not forage all at the same time. Most times, a few rats will forage for food and bring back what they can find for the rest of the pack.
Rats are omnivores, but most will prefer meat when they have a chance to get it. Most times, brown and house rats will use humans to get food. They will look in the trash and eat any food that is left out in the open.
Rats have been known to eat plants and kill insects and water creatures. They can even eat small birds, reptiles, and mammals if they are hungry enough. There are some species of rats like the Hoffman's rat and Sulawesi white-tailed rat that prefer to eat fruits and seeds.
Most rats will build nests to have their offspring. These nests are made from any materials that the rats can find. Rats are baby-making machines because female rats can mate up to 500 times in just 6 hours. Brown rats can have up to 22 babies at a time and up to 2,000 babies in just a year. The amount of young that are produced will depend on the amount of food that is available.
There are over 60 species of rats in the world. However, there are only two main types of rats that will enter your home. Rats can be pests because they cause damage and carry fleas and disease. They can live anywhere, but you can easily have them removed from your home without killing them.