Joined: 30 May 2006 Posts: 2152 Location: West of Ireland
Posted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:04 pm Post subject: Types of Rats you may find in your Irish Garden
Types of Rats By Thomas Morva
Rats are rodents that belong to the Rattus genus of the family Muridae. These are the most dominant species on earth. There are several species of rats in the world.
Most rodents are herbivorous, but some are omnivorous. Rats have keen taste, hearing, and sense of smell.
In general, there are two basic types of rats. They are black or roof rats and Norway or brown rats. Both are thought to have originated in Asia and are now widely distributed throughout the world.
Photo / pic / image of Rattus norvegicus AKA Norway rat, house rat, gray rat, barn rat, wharf rat.
The brown rat, which is also known as the Norway rat, house rat, gray rat, barn rat, and wharf rat, is one of the best-known and is the larger of the two.
Their scientific name is Rattus norvegicus. They are mostly grayish-brown, with a lighter colored stomach.
A fully-grown brown rat is 18 to 26 cm long and weighs between 400 and 600 grammes. They have a tail shorter than its body and their nose and muzzle are blunt. They prefer moist conditions and nest in deep burrows.
Photo / pic / image of Rattus Rattus AKA Roof rats, black rats and ship rats.
Roof rat, Ireland.
Roof rats (Rattus Rattus) are also called black rats and ship rats.
They are usually black, slender, 16-21 cm long and weigh about 80-300 grammes. Their tail is longer than the head and body and their nose and muzzle are pointed.
As the name suggest, roof rats are climbers. Their paws enable them to climb and build nests in upper parts of dwellings, attics, rafters and crossbeams of buildings.
Both these rats breed when they are three to four months of age.
They breed 1 to 13 times a year and produce 1 to 22 in a litter.
Black rats and brown rats eat about the same things. Their diet typically includes seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, fruits, cereals, meats and invertebrates. They consume about one-third of their weight in food every 24 hours.
They carry lethal diseases, damage structures and contaminate food.
Some of the diseases potentially fatal to man that spread through rats are Weil's disease, plague, salmonella food poisoning and toxoplasmosis.
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Rats eat a wide variety of food. They have voracious appetites and will eat almost anything. They are true omnivorous scavengers, but mostly prefer grain, livestock feed, and meat. Rats have also been known to eat soap, leather, furs, milk, meat, vegetables, poultry, eggs, grain, seeds, fruit, nuts, snails and other rodents. A rat can eat a third of its body weight each day.
Two main types of rats, brown rats and black rats eat about the same things. But there are slight differences in preferences between the two. Brown rats or Norway rats eat nearly any type of food, but they prefer high-quality foods such as meat and fresh grain. These rats require 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce of water daily when feeding on dry food.
Roof rats or black rats generally prefer vegetables, fruits and grain, and consume 1/2 to 1 ounce food per day from various sources. They do not readily accept meat or fish. They like cereal grains, apples, potatoes, biscuits, pastries, sweets, chocolate, peanut butter, and tomatoes. They also consume an ounce of water per day.
Rats are nutritionally a little better than mice. Unlike the mouse that nibbles a little at a time, rats eat much more food in one sitting. Like mice, rats can live in freezers and they love to eat frozen food.
Rats have a habit of gnawing when they eat. Their chewing ability helps them to chew and gnaw through almost anything. They gnaw anything softer than their teeth. They gnaw papers, clothes, wood, plastics, water pipes, electric cables and other building materials. Their habit of gnawing causes immense damage to mankind such as fires, power shortages and flooding.
The rat's main important consumption is water, as it cannot survive long without it. Rats need 1/2 to 1 ounce of water daily. _________________ Gardening books.
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