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Rats are cautious and primarily nocturnal in habit. Rats will basically eat anything; any food humans or livestock will eat, plus many less palatable items including animal droppings, garbage, and other rats. They can eat up to a third of their body weight in food. They begin to forage soon after dark, and gather most of their food before midnight. They often store or hoard food in hidden areas. Rats generally live together in a group dominated by a large male that guards a harem of females, and routinely travel the same route nightly (along foundations, walls, fences, etc.). Two common spiecies of rats in the Pacific Northwest are the Norway and the Roof rat.
Also called the Brown Rat, Sewer Rat, and Wharf Rat, the Norway Rat is brown or gray and has a pink tail that is shorter than their body. The Norway is not a good climber, but a good swimmer. These are the Rats generally found in areas lower to the ground, like sub-area crawlspaces.
Also called the Black Rat and Ship Rat, the Roof Rat is black, gray, or brown and has a charcoal gray tail that is longer than their body. The Roof is a good climber and doesn’t like water. These are the Rats generally found in higher areas, like attic crawlspaces.