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3 Types of Rats in Florida and How to Tell Them Apart

There are three main types of rats found in Florida. If you think that your home has a rat problem, then knowing how to identify what type of rats you have can make it easier for you to trap them. Of course, if you think you have a rat infestation, you’ll want to schedule a pest control service right away. The following are the three most commonly found types of rats in Florida and how you can identify them:

types of rats

1. The Roof Rat

About the Roof Rat

The Roof Rat is the most common type of rat found in south Florida. Roof Rats are identified by a number of different names, including Palm Rats, Fruit Rats, Citrus Rats, and Black Rats. For the most part, they are vegetarian—although they will eat almost anything that is available. Female Roof Rats can produce as many as 20 offspring within a year, and they tend to live between two to three years, which is why you’ll want to get rid of them as soon as you identify them.

Identifying the Roof Rat

Roof Rats typically grow between three to eight inches in length. They are usually black or dark brown in color and have long tails as well as big ears and eyes. Their fur is smooth, and their bodies are usually smaller and sleeker than Norway Rats. Their droppings are between 12 and 13 millimeters long with pointed ends, making them smaller and sharper looking than Norway Rat droppings. They often nest up near the roof, such as in an attic space. You can sometimes identify their presence by the grease marks they leave along surfaces.

2. The Norway Rat

About the Norway Rat

Norway Rats are most often found outside, although they will venture indoors in search of food. They are omnivores and will feed on everything from meat to fruits to grains. Unlike Roof Rats, Norway Rats are burrowing rats, which means they are often found in basement spaces and crawl spaces. They will usually hide during the day. Norway Rats typically only live for around a year, but females can produce up to 22 offspring within a year.

Identifying the Norway Rat

Norway Rats can reach lengths of up to 16 inches. Their fur is usually shaggy and brown or grey in color. Their tails are shorter than their bodies, and they are usually covered in scales—as are their ears. It’s usually easy to tell them apart from Roof Rats, especially by the shape of their droppings, which are not only capsule-shaped, but also much larger than those of Roof Rats.

3. The Wood Rat

About the Wood Rat

Wood Rats aren’t as common as Roof Rats or Norway Rats, but they are found in northern parts of Florida. They can be a real nuisance due to the fact that they not only eat food and leave droppings around the house, but also steal small items, which is why they are often called “Pack Rats.”

Identifying the Wood Rat

Wood Rats grow up to seven inches in length and are roughly the same size as Norway Rats. However, you can tell them apart from Norway Rats because of their hamster-like look—they have long, soft, fine fur and furry tails instead of scaly tails. They range from black or grey to brown in color.

Use these tips to identify the different types of rats you might spot in your home, and be sure to contact a pest control service if you think you have a rat infestation.

To learn more about types of rats and how to eliminate them if you have an infestation, visit our website today.

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