The Roof rat is the smaller of the 2 commensal rats and the more common rat in the subtropical and tropical regions of the world. It not only damages/destroys materials by gnawing, eats and contaminates stored food, but it is also if human health importance as a vector or carrier of diseases.
Adults with a combined head and body length about 6-8” long with the tail length being 7-10” long. Fur is soft, smooth with colour usually being brown with black intermixed, to grey to black above with underside white, grey, or black.
Roof rats are primarily nocturnal in habit and colonies contain some members that are very cautious. Roof rats prefer to nest in the upper parts of structures, but may be found under buildings as well as occasionally in basements and sewers. Outdoors, they prefer to nest in higher places such as in trees but may occasionally be found in burrows in or under vegetation around the structure.
Although they will eat practically anything, roof rats prefer naturally-occurring seeds, nuts, fruits, and berries when in season. If available, they feed on slugs, snails and insects.