Rats: Identification, Behavior, and Extermination Techniques

Rats are highly adaptable rodents known for their ability to thrive in various environments. Understanding their behavior and implementing effective rat control strategies is essential to protect your property and ensure the well-being of occupants. Here’s a comprehensive guide to rats:


Rats belong to the genus Rattus and are commonly found throughout the world, including the United States. The two most common species in the U.S. are the Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the roof rat (Rattus rattus). Norway rats are larger, measuring up to 16 inches in length, while roof rats are smaller, reaching around 13 inches. Rats have a long, scaly tail, pointed snout, and prominent incisors that grow continuously.


Types of Rats


Rats are nocturnal creatures, primarily active during the night. They are omnivorous and can feed on a wide range of food sources, including grains, fruits, vegetables, garbage, and even small animals. Rats are excellent climbers and can squeeze through small openings due to their flexible bodies. They create intricate burrows and nests in hidden areas, such as attics, basements, and crawlspaces.


Rats are highly adaptable and can be found in both urban and rural environments. They seek shelter in structures such as houses, warehouses, sewers, and abandoned buildings. Norway rats prefer ground-level habitats, while roof rats are adept climbers and tend to nest in elevated areas like roofs and trees. Rats reproduce quickly, and a small infestation can escalate into a significant problem if left unaddressed.

Extermination Techniques

Effective rat control requires a multi-faceted approach. Some common extermination techniques include:

  1. Exclusion: Seal all entry points, including gaps, cracks, and openings, to prevent rats from entering your property.
  2. Trapping: Use snap traps, live traps, or glue traps strategically placed in areas of high rat activity to capture and remove them.
  3. Baiting: Place rodenticide baits in secure bait stations to control rat populations. It’s crucial to handle and use rodenticides with caution, following all safety instructions and local regulations.

Interesting Facts about Rats

  1. Lifespan: Rats have a relatively short lifespan, typically ranging from one to two years in the wild.
  2. Intelligence: Rats are highly intelligent rodents and are known for their problem-solving skills.
  3. Teeth Growth: Rat incisors grow continuously throughout their lives. They gnaw on objects to keep their teeth properly trimmed.


While DIY methods may provide temporary relief, professional rat control is recommended for thorough eradication and long-term prevention.

If you’re dealing with a rat infestation or need expert advice on rat management, don’t hesitate to contact our pest control experts at Arete Pest Control. We have the knowledge, experience, and effective solutions to address