What do Rats Eat? The Feeding Habit of Rats

What do rats eat? this has been a matter of great concern to many homes and to the society at large as these pests have lived to become a great nuisance. Although it is not right to stop living things from feeding, when this feeding habit becomes a problem then it must be curbed. This article is set to give detailed insight into the behavior of rats and what rats eat.


Read also: How to Get Rid of Rats in House Fast and Effective Ways


The Behaviors Of Rats

The feeding habits of rats is a matter of great concern as they act very aggressive during feeding and cause harm and destruction to household items. To prevent these pests from thriving in your home, they should be exterminated as leaving them to grow and increase in number makes it difficult to get rid of them and it won’t be nice having rats running around your home and destroying household properties, would it?

Rats have been found to thrive in human dwellings including urban and rural areas. They are referred to as commensal rodents since they derive their food and other benefits from other organisms (man). Trapping a rat, therefore, becomes a great problem as they are greatly conscious of their environment to prevent them from danger.

As was stated earlier, rats are very aggressive animals, i.e. they are likely to attack, especially when they feel threatened by external forces (man, other predators). They exhibit behaviors such as boxing, biting, chasing, etc. They really are defensive and wouldn’t want to feel threatened. Rats have several body features that help them adapt to their environment and very difficult to catch or trap. Below is a list of these adaptable features:

  • They have flexible bodies that allow them to pass through small holes.
  • Whiskers which enable them to find their way in dark places (burrows).
  • Dark skin which gives them the ability to camouflage and makes it difficult for them to be easily seen.
  • A long tail that enables balance during running.
  • A pointed nose which enables them to sense danger from predators and perceive food from a long distance.

Rats also exhibit the behavior of social dominance in their respective dwellings.


Want to learn more about the behavior of rats? 

Here”s a video;


The Infestation of Rats

Rats are very secretive animals and if not seen or discovered in the home then there’s probably no infestation yet, and even if there is it won’t be easily noticeable. When a rat is finally seen then you sure have a big problem as it may be that an infestation has probably begun. Roof rats are the most common species of rats found in the home, and having an infestation may be a very serious issue. Below are possible signs of a rat infestation:

  • Damage to household properties (plastic, wood, etc.)
  • Constant sighting of rat poop.
  • Grease marks along walls and floors.

Roof rats may be found in attics, lofts, and places that are less frequently visited. An infestation may be stopped by placing traps and spraying rodenticide on food substances so they’ll feed on it. They are easily found in muddy and dusty areas as they tend to leave visible tracks and footprints.


Read also: Rodents; 10 Superficial Facts About Rodents


What do Rats Eat?

What do rats eat? it’s high time your questions got answered. There are two different classifications of rats based on their locations, the city rats and the wild rats. This classification, therefore, distinguishes what they eat. The city rats are known to feed mainly on garbage and meat and will feed mostly on any human or pet food they come across while the wild rats are mainly vegetarians, i.e. they feed on fruits, plants, and seeds as those are the only available food source in such areas that can easily be accessed.

Rats are opportunistic feeders and will feed at the slightest chance they get. The human environment provides rats with a great variety of food to eat which is why they are mostly found there. The roof rats feed mostly on fruits and are sometimes referred to as fruit rats.

Rodents feed on almost anything but not everything. Most rodents are herbivorous, that is they feed on plant parts (leaves, flowers, stem, seeds, and roots), some are omnivorous, that is they feed on both plants and animals. The rat is an omnivorous rodent.

Omnivorous Rodents

This means that this specie of rodents feeds on both plants and meat, examples include the rats, mice, and gerbils. Rats feed on insects and soft-bodied invertebrates, aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, mussels, snails, frogs, birds’ eggs, and water birds, scorpions, and other small mice, and a small part of its diet is plant material.

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