Rats are medium-sized rodents that belong to the genus Rattus. They are highly adaptable and widespread mammals found throughout the world. Rats have a robust body, long tail, pointed snout, and prominent incisors. They are known for their intelligence, agility, and ability to thrive in various environments.

Rats are primarily nocturnal creatures, meaning they are most active during the night. They have a well-developed sense of smell and excellent hearing, which helps them navigate and locate food sources. However, in environments with less human disturbance, such as warehouses or abandoned buildings, they may also become active during the daytime.

Their favorite environments include:

  1. Urban and Residential Areas: Rats are commonly found in urban and residential areas, particularly in cities and towns. They seek out food, water, and shelter in human-made structures such as houses, buildings, sewers, and garbage areas.
  2. Burrows and Nests: Rats are skilled diggers and can create burrows or nests in various locations, including soil, gardens, walls, and crawl spaces. They seek out hidden areas that provide safety and protection.
  3. Sewers and Drainage Systems: Rats are known to inhabit sewers and drainage systems, utilizing these underground networks for movement and access to food sources.
  4. Agricultural and Rural Areas: Rats can also infest agricultural fields, farms, and rural areas where they can find food in crop fields, barns, or storage areas.

There are several species of rats, but the most common and problematic types encountered by humans include:

  1. Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus): Also known as the Norway rat or sewer rat, the brown rat is one of the most widespread and adaptable rat species. It has a stocky build, a blunt snout, and a tail shorter than its body length. Brown rats are often associated with urban environments but can also be found in rural areas.
  2. Black Rat (Rattus rattus): Commonly referred to as the roof rat or ship rat, black rats are sleeker in appearance with a more pointed snout and a long, thin tail that is longer than its body length. Black rats are agile climbers and tend to infest higher areas such as roofs, attics, and trees.

Controlling rat infestations typically involves sealing entry points, eliminating food and water sources, implementing trapping or baiting methods, and maintaining good sanitation practices. Due to their potential to transmit diseases and cause damage, it is important to address rat infestations promptly. Seeking professional pest control assistance may be necessary for effective management in severe infestations.

The best way to avoid invasions of rats is to provide as little harborage as possible that might attract rodents, and seal as many holes and cracks in the outside of the home as possible through which rats might enter.

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