Black or brown, 7 to 10 inches long, with a long tail, large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose. Body is smaller and sleeker than Norway rat. Fur is smooth.


Outside, rats live in fields, wooded areas, vacant lots, farms, and just about anywhere people have buildings. Nests inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood. Roof rats are excellent climbers that can often be found in the upper parts of structures.


Omnivorous, but prefers grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables.


The best way to avoid invasions of rodents is to eliminate hoarborage, andto seal holes and cracks in the outside of the home through which mice might enter. Keep firewood stored as far from the home as possible and store it off the ground. Remove any piles of debris, stones, bricks, etc. Do not allow piles of leaves to accumulate next to the home's foundation. This serves as attractive harborage for mice in particular. Seal any hole or crack larger than 1/4 of an inch. Install weatherstripping on the bottom of all doors to prevent rodents from entering.