We’re more interested in the former and their diet preferences. From the name alone, it’s obvious where their preferred habitats are.
Roof rats can be found in the wild and domestic environments. Their presence around homes is where the problem lies, as they cause many problems.
What Do Roof Rats Like to Eat?
Rodent infestations are tough to deal with due to the assortment of diet items they’re used to. To be more precise, rats, like most rodents, are omnivorous.
This makes them highly adaptable to human dwellings, as they can feed on almost anything we eat. There are different species of rats, the most common being roof rats and Norway rats.
Roof Rat Problems
Before we get into what they eat, we must first discuss roof rat dangers.
Also called black rats, roof rats cause problems ranging from damage to property, food contamination, and carriers of other pests.
i. Damage to Property
One of the main problems caused by roof rats is property damage.
As their teeth grow, they need to constantly keep them sharpened, which is performed by chewing and gnawing on a wide range of things, including furniture and wire insulation,
As insulation on electrical wiring is chewed on, it may result in short-circuiting, leading to house fires. It is estimated that around $19 billion worth of damage is caused each year by rodent activity.
ii. Food Contamination
Food contamination is a significant health risk posed by the feeding action of roof rats.
As these rodents target food supplies, they contaminate the same through their droppings and urine. When ingested by humans, it leads to a wide range of diseases.
Many diseases are transmitted by rodents to humans both directly and indirectly.
Those directly transmitted include leptospirosis, Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, Lassa fever, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, salmonellosis, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis.
More of these transmitted diseases that result from food contamination include Omsk hemorrhagic fever, rat-bite fever, plague, tularemia, and South American arenaviruses.
iii. Carriers of other Pests
Like most rodents, roof rats are carriers of other pests, such as bugs and fleas. These easily spread to pets and humans and pose significant health risks.
Protecting your family and pets from these will require tackling the problem. There are lots of treatment approaches available for roof rat elimination.
Roof Rat Diet
As stated earlier, the roof rat has a wide range of food species, some of which are seasonal. These omnivores are known food hoarders known to stash food varieties ranging from nuts and seeds.
Fruits are also among their preferred delicacies. While that’s true, food rats won’t hesitate to feed on just about anything edible they find.
Seeds, fruits, tree bark, grains, peanut butter, nuts, and meat are among the favorite food items roof rats will feed on. In the wild, roof rats are predators of smaller animals like birds.
They also feed on vegetation and several other foods.
When plant-based foods eaten by roof rats are categorized, you get food classes like fern rhizome, berries, seeds, green plants, fruits, and moss.
The animal matter consumed by them can be categorized into smaller rodents, birds, arthropods, and annelids. Roof rats also feed on insects and insect larvae in the wild.
Roof Rats Will Feed on Whatever they Can Find in and Around your Home.
As roof rats infest your home, they seek whatever kind of food they can get.
Remember, we said these are omnivores; hence won’t have any problem eating whatever they can find in your home. This includes stored foods, grains, and fresh vegetables growing in gardens.
Roof rats will readily scavenge for food in the garbage. While also targeting pet food kept outdoors and bird feeders. Here, it’s evident that you have nothing as food that roof rats will spare.
However, there might be a few items these rodents will avoid.
Roof Rat Diet Makes it Easy to Use Same as Bait.
If you plan on using poison to kill these rodents, you have a broad selection of food types.
While true, you’ll have better results with certain food types like peanut butter. Such tends to be irresistible to them as their appetites will lead them to take a bite.
Proper Food Storage Matters
We discussed earlier the diseases spread by roof rats to humans through food contamination.
This problem can be significantly addressed by adopting improved food storage habits. Depending on the type of food, such can be stored in airtight containers that cannot be chewed through.
Generally, improved food storage keeps these rats from your food. Without accessing your food, roof rat droppings and urine is avoided.
More importantly, you remove the incentive for these rodents to be around your home.
Roof Rat Habitat
By the name, it will be readily assumed that roof rats live on roots.
While there’s some truth, these excellent climbers prefer elevated areas. These include roofs, rubbish piles, attics, trees, buildings, rafters, garage storage spaces, and wall voids.
Getting rid of them from these areas will require seeking professional help. DIY treatments don’t usually achieve much in ridding homes of roof rats.
You’ll have to adopt a more reliable approach like prevention and calling the pros.
Remove All Clutter
Roof rats can be discouraged from hanging around your home when all clutter is cleared.
Clutter provides ample hiding and nesting spots for these rodents. This preventive strategy and others are the most reliable for keeping pests at bay.
Consult a Pest Technician
If you’ve noticed the recent activity of roof rats around your home, you might want to consult a pest control specialist. Here, your property is inspected, and nesting sites are identified.
This is followed by comprehensive treatment. The pest technician gives other preventive tips to help keep these rodents at bay.
Now you know what roof rats eat. These omnivores will readily eat a wide array of food consumed by humans.