Do rats live in more urban areas, or wild areas?

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Brown rats, the most common rats you’ll come across, are generally found in more urban areas these days. We have cut down so much of their natural habitat, and we make so much mess, that they have been forced to move in with us, so to speak. In some cases, they have, quite literally, moved in with us – into our homes, usually in areas like the attic.

Usually measuring in at around 20-25cm long (not including the rat’s tail), the humble rat is a species that will adapt and follow the best conditions. They are scavengers, so they will follow the smell of food, and they will also look for places that provide everything they need. They need warmth to shelter from the cold days and nights, and they also need somewhere they can easily run into when they are being chased or attacked by predators. They also need a source of water nearby, and food too, and a place to build a nest ... for the female rats, of course.

In your home, they are likely to be found in areas such as roof spaces, crawl spaces, and also attics. You may come across them in basements, attics, running across your kitchen floor, under your floorboards, in cavities deep in the walls, and much more. They only need a small hole, around the size of a quarter, in order to squeeze through. As you can imagine, that pretty much gives them the run of the roost.

They may live under sheds in your backyard, and they’ll also love nesting in the grassy banks. Sewer systems are other common hiding spots, as are shipping ports, fish markets, and basically anywhere else that you’ll find food. The smell of food is too enticing for these creatures to pass by.

The fact that rats surround us is our own fault, because we make food and shelter so accessible to them every day. If you protect your home, ensuring you inspect it and repair any damage, it will be wild-animal proof.

Go back to the Rats in the Attic home page.

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