Some properties are invaded every year as rats and mice seek shelter from the cold. Others may arrive due to areas that are being developed; this may cause them to move from their natural habitat and move in with you. Rats cause damage such as chewing electrical wire, books, food, upholstery, and food containers. They often nest in your roof voids and they carry disease to humans by contaminating food by droppings and urine. Rats and mice are generally more active at night; if you see them during the day it means you have a high number and a good food supply.
The Norway rat, also known as the common rat, sewer rat or brown rat, is the larger of the pest rats. They are usually active at night and are good swimmers. They dig well and are able to communicate through high pitched vocalisation. This rat is an omnivore and will eat food from both plants and animal origin. They will eat almost anything, although they prefer starch and protein rich food such as cereals which form a substantial part of their diet. Other foods they eat include meat, fish, vegetables, weeds, earthworms, crustaceans, nuts and fruit.
The Roof rat is smaller than the common Norway rat and is also known as the ship rat or black rat. Black rats are usually found in built up areas or near the coast. They have good climbing ability and can nest in buildings, roof void. They eat a wide variety of food items generally feeding on cereals, grains, fruit, and almost any item that has nutritional value. They are omnivores and will feed on insects or meat if necessary.
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