The black rat is the most well-known rat. The scientific name for black rats is Ratus ratus. The second best known rat is the brown rat, whose scientific name is Ratus norvgicus. Rats live just about anywhere on earth except for Antarctica which is too cold for them.
- Rats weigh about 1 pound in the wild.
- They are about 6 inches long.
- They are colored black to dark gray.
- The feces will resemble black pellets.
Florida is an excellent environment for rats with its warm climate and palm trees. The rats can live outside practically all year without fear of freezing. Additionally, rats are climbers, making them at home in roofs, and palm trees. Rats will build nests above ground. Due to the warm temperature and plentiful sunshine, Florida has many fruiting plants. These plants serve as the tiny rodent’s primary food source.
The rats can be a nuisance due to their habit of nesting above ground. Often they can nest in homeowners’ roofs. In constructing space for their nests, they might chew through insulation and wires. Rats will eat many things including garbage and gardens.
Rats can harbor Leptospira, Toxoplasma gondii, and Campylobacter. Some of these diseases are dangerous for humans. Toxoplasma gondii is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it can affect the unborn child. Toxoplasma gondii causes rats to lose their fear of cats. The rats will become friendly to cats. Friendly rats are easy prey for cats. The cat becomes infected with Toxoplasma gondii by the rat. Once infected, the Toxoplasma will mature and reproduce in the cat’s intestines. The house cat can then become an infection vector to the owners of the cat.