Roof Rats

Roof Rat Facts

Scientific Name:

Rattus Rattus


Black to brownish-gray; hard to identify by color alone


6-12 ounces; smaller than Norway Rat


6-8 inches

Tail Length:

7-10 inches; longer than the body


Thin, slender body, pointed nose


Relatively small; close to body


Large & prominent eyes; color blind


5 to 18 months


½ inch long with pointed ends; dark color; found scattered


Other Names: Black Rat, Fruit Rat, Ship Rat, Alexandrian Rat


Daily Amount:

0.5-1 ounce

Daily Water:

1-2 ounce

Daily Food:

Fruits, berries, meats, seeds, vegetables, eggs



Coastal cities; as a general rule they do not occur more than 100 miles inland

Nest Location:

Nests in attics, false ceilings, dead fronds of palm trees, and upper portions of buildings

Home Range:

Up to 300 ft from nest

Active Periods:

Nocturnal; most feeding occurs 30 minutes after sunset and before sunrise


Litter Size:

4-8 pups per litter

No. of Litters:

3-4 per year

Sexual Maturity:

2-3 months

Gestation Period:

22 days

Breeding Season:

Indoors: All year; Outdoors: Spring & Fall

Top 10 High Activity Areas

  • Attics
  • False ceiling areas
  • Within fruit trees
  • Wall and floor voids in upper floors
  • Within dead fronds of palm trees
  • Among overgrown vegetation along fence rows and utility poles
  • Within brick foundation wall voids
  • Beneath low-lying and cavernous shrubbery
  • Along utility lines connected to exterior of home
  • Beneath slab walkways
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