Types of Rats and What They Look Like
There are substantial numbers of rats across the country, so there is a pretty good chance that you will encounter one at some point in your life.
When it comes to things classified as being a pest, is there anything that is capable of drawing such an extreme reaction as the rat? There are so many negative connotations attached to the rat that most people are even unaware that there are more than one species.
Also, they are nowhere near as bad as the stories make you think, but that’s not to say that they are all friendly and cuddly because they certainly are not. However, in this instance, the main focus will be to look at the most common types of rats, and how to identify them.
Types of Rats Depending on Location
Across the United States, there are three main types of rats to be aware of. Depending on where you will dictate which one is going to pose the biggest problems.
In general, the two types of rats are the Roof rat and the Norway rat. The Roof rat is primarily found down the west coast and in areas such as Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia along with parts of Texas.
The Norway rat prefers colder climates and can be found more on the east coast and in the heart of the country. Just because they prefer to stay in these kinds of areas does not mean that you will be immune to any species.
Rats will indeed roam to wherever they can find a relevant food source.
The Roof RatKnown by its’ Latin name Rattus rattus the roof rat tends to be either black or very dark brown. Their tail can be the same length as their body which does then give them a rather large appearance.
In total their body can be 6 to 8 inches in length while their tail can be as much as 10 inches. A fully grown adult can weigh approximately 6 to 12 ounces.
When it comes to their body, they are relatively slender and have a pointed nose. Their ears are small and close to their body while their eyes are larger than expected.
They can also be identified by the nature of their droppings which tend to be around half an inch long and pointed at both ends. Unlike other types of rats, this one can roam up to 300ft from its nest and are nocturnal.
You will find them to be the most active around 30 minutes after sunset and then 30 minutes before sunrise. This is when they tend to find the conditions are perfect for their needs.
The Norway Rat
The other main species is the Norway rat, also known as Rattus Norvegicus. Different from the roof rat is that they can be found in more areas, and they are larger.
They are often regarded as being some super rat, which sounds scary but not actually true. However, the Norway rat can grow to somewhere around 16 inches long when you include the tail.
The Norway rat can be up to 10 inches long, and they are also heavier weighing 10 to 16 ounces.
Also, they are primarily gray to brown, and rarely ever black. The only thing that is black about them is their eyes. They have a more blunt nose, and their ears are smaller being closer to the head.Their droppings are slightly bigger, just under an inch long, and they are found in groups rather than scattered around.
You are also going to find that the Norway rat tends to stay close to its nest with it generally roaming up to a maximum of 100ft from its home.
Just like the roof rat the Norway rat is also nocturnal with its busiest times being just after sunset and just before sunrise.
The Woodrat is a third species of rat that is commonly found across most of the United States. It is the same weight as the Norway rat, and it has the nickname ‘packrat.’
It loves to gnaw on a range of items from plants and fruit to bedding, furniture, paper products, and conduits. This rat has a body around 7 inches long, with a tail the same length.
For the color, they are black, gray or brown, and have a large body with a round appearance. Some experts compare their body shape to what a hamster would look like if it were bigger. Compared to other types of rats, they have large ears and bulging eyes.
The Woodrat lives longer than most other rats with a lifespan of around three years.
You are also going to find them outside more often than not. To identify them with droppings look for them leaving it in piles. The problem with the Woodrat is that it does love to build a nest close to us humans.
It can build a nest in the attic, under the shed, and in the wall. They will still go and feed outside even if they have made a home indoors. Their range is pretty spectacular as it covers close to 1 acre in size.
Related Article: Rat Vs. Mouse – What’s The Difference?
These three different types of rats can all pose their own problems to you and your home. Having them removed from your property is essential to reduce the damage that they can cause.
Of course, we have not even covered the different diseases that they can carry. It’s best to leave it to a professional to accurately identify the type of rat you are dealing with. So they can then carry out the best course of action to solve the problem.***