Rat Identification Guide Norway Rat Rattus
Brown, heavy-bodied,six to eight inches long; small eyes and ears, blunt
nose; tail is shorter than head and body; fur is shaggy; droppings are
Nest in underground burrows, from which they enter buildings in search of
food; tend to remain in hiding during the day.
Omnivorous, but prefer meats; cannot survive long without water.
Reaches sexual maturity in two months; can breed any month of the year;
litter may number from eight to twelve; females can have four to seven litters
per year; adults live as long as one year.
Most common rat in U.S.; limited agility, but excellent swimmer; carrier
of many serious diseases.
Roof Rat Rattus
Black or brown, seven to 10 inches long, with a long tail and large ears
and eyes, with a pointed nose; body is smaller and sleeker than Norway rat; fur
Nests inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood;
excellent climber; can often be found in the upper parts of structures.
Omnivorous, but show a preference for grains, fruits, nuts and
Becomes sexually mature at four months; four to six litters per year;
four to eight young per litter; live up to one year.
Very agile; can squeeze through openings only 1/2 inch wide; carry many