Black rat (Roof Rat, Palm Rat, House Rat, Ship Rat)
The black rat is black to light brown in color with a lighter underside and a long tail. They are generally omnivores and feed on fruit trees.
Rats are tough
Rats are hard to kill. Through time, rats have become immune to some poisons put down to kill them. Rats are very adaptable and can easily survive in any environment. A rat can climb brick walls, fall five stories’, bounce and not die, eat things that’d kill you and go longer than a camel without water. In fact, rats love water – they’re just as happy in it as on land. A rat can swim half a mile in open sea, tread water for three days and dive 100 feet underwater.
Breed like rats!
Rats live on average for 18 months, becoming sexually active at 12 weeks.
During her life, a female rat can breed five to seven times, producing up to 2,000 baby rats a year who can then in turn go on to breed and breed…
A rat’s teeth can grow up to 5 inches in a year. To keep them at a manageable size, a rat must constantly gnaw to wear them down. Their teeth are super-strong and will cut through anything –brick, asbestos, wood, breeze blocks, 4-inch-thick concrete, even 2mm-thick metal.
Once in your house, rats can be very destructive, causing thousands of dollars of damage. They often chew through electric cable, causing fires, or water pipes, causing flooding.
Never drink beer from a bottle!
Rats love to pee and will go up to 80 times a day. Their urine spreads Weil’s Disease.
These little fellas are often found in pub cellars where it is nice and dark and where crates of beer are kept. Just saying…
I smell a rat
Rats thrive on your stinky, leftover food. They eat the equivalent of 10 per cent of their body weight daily and will feast on cat food, dog food, bird food and – as a special treat – dog excrement. In desperate times they’ll even eat each other.
Like a rat up a drainpipe
It has been known for rats to get into your house by sneaking into your sewer, crawling up the soil pipe, swimming round the u-bend and popping up in your toilet.
Be careful – like squirrels, rats love nuts!
Although for centuries it was believed that rats were responsible for spreading The Black Death, (which arrived in Europe from Asia in 1347), in fact our furry friends were innocent. It was all down to their cousins the gerbils, which carried infected fleas.
But they are not all bad…
Rats are affectionate and social animals. They enjoy the company of other rats, and domestic rats love the company of humans. When they’re happy or playing, rats will grind their teeth, chatter and vibrate their eyes while making little laughter sounds. Rats will take care of sick or injured rats in their group and will even save their friends from drowning. Like elephants, rats have great memories, once they’ve found a safe route they never forget it.
Sanibel Has its very own rat
The Sanibel Island rice rat, (Oryzomys palustris) can reach a length of 10.1 inches and a weight up to 2.5 ounces. This species has brownish fur on their back side, a dark white belly, white feet, and a tail that is brown on top and white on the bottom (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). Marsh rice rats are semi-aquatic and can be found in coastal marshes, hydric hammocks, swamps, and freshwater marshes and meadows. The Sanibel Island rice rat is a subspecies of the rice rat and is found only on Sanibel Island, Florida.