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Roof Rat – RattusRattus

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The Roof Rat also known as RattusRattus was introduced to Australia in the late 1700s when the first fleet arrived. Other names that the Roof Rat goes by are the Ship Rat, House Rat, Old English Rat and Alexandrine Rat.

Unfortunately the Roof Rat has spread along the coastlines of Australia and has become a serial pest to agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential environments. The roof Rat will feed on anything like insects, food waste, birds and a wide range of agricultural crops.

The Roof Rat is known for distributing disease and the most common disease that they carry is the Bubonic Plague.

The Roof Rat like all other rats has very poor eye sight and can only see roughly 3-4 feet in front. They do however have excellent senses to which they rely on. Smell, hearing, taste and touching objects.

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What Do Roof Rats Look like?

Roof Rats will range in colour and are often a rare black to grey colour but can also be grey to brown with a white to yellowish belly. They have large ears with a pointed nose, their tails are longer than their body and head.

rattus rattus

Head to Body – 165-205mm
Tail – 185-245mm
Weight 95-320grams

 

Life Cycle of the Roof Rat
Life Span -1 year
Gestation Period – 21-22 days
Litter Size – 5-10
Number of litters per year – 5 to 6 litters

 

Nesting Behaviours

The Roof Rat is an agile climber and is often found nesting in roof voids, crevices of walls and tree tops. Roof rats also like to nest is debris of wood or rubbish and can burrow underground if there is nowhere else to hide.

Signs Of An Infestation of Roof Rats
Gnawed Objects Roof Rat will gnaw every day to avoid their teeth growing to a point which is uncomfortable for them, they like to keep their teeth short & sharp. Roof Rats will gnaw holes in most materials.
Droppings & Urine Roof rats will leave droppings and urine in an area that they favour but can leave droppings and urine almost anywhere. Over a short period of time the droppings and urine will cause a smell and will leave streaking marks on your ceilings and walls.
Rub Markings Roof Rats will leave a brownish to black smudge along the walls when running from room to room, when Roof Rats climb up walls they will also leave a smudge.
Paths & Runways Roof Rats will always have a path or runway to which they use frequently between their nest and their food and water source. You will hear them running across the beams in your roof void and will hear them fighting at times.