Roof Rat Biology: Rattus rattus - also known as the Black Rat. This rat is smaller and less aggressive than the Norway. It spends 90% of its life above ground, usually in trees, on power lines, and in attics of homes and buildings. Many aspects of its biology are similar to the Norway. They reproduce very quickly, they are nocturnal, they have poor vision, and a great sense of balance. They primarily eat grains and cereals, as well as fruits, nuts, and pretty much anything, if need be. Where they cohabitate, the Norways are more dominant, and often wipe out the Roof Rats. However, sometimes Norways will live under a house or at ground level, while the Roof rats live in the attic.
Nuisance Concerns: Rats are a nuisance species for many reasons. The first complaint that most people have is due to the noise they cause scurrying about and scratching inside the home. Many people don't call to have their rat problem solved until the rats break into the home proper and start to chew on and contaminate food items in the house. However, if you've got rats in the attic or walls, they are causing many problems. First of all, rats chew and gnaw all of the time to wear down their rodent teeth. They often chew on electrical wires, creating a potential for shorts or fire hazards. They also leave a lot of feces and urine, and can contaminate a home. Rats carry a variety of diseases, such as Rat-bite fever (Streptobacillus moniliformis bacteria), Rickettsia virus, Hantavirus, Eosinophilic Meningitis. The droppings of rats can cause Leptospirosis or Salmonellosis.