Norway rats will eat nearly any type of food, but they prefer high-quality foods such as meat and fresh grain. Rats need 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce of water daily.
Rodents have keen taste, hearing and sense of smell. They will climb to find food or shelter, and they can gain entrance to a building through any opening larger than 1/2 inch.
Rodents have litters of 6 to 12 young, which are born 21 to 23 days after mating. Young rodents reach reproductive maturity in about three months. Breeding is most active in spring and fall.
The average female has four to six litters per year. Rodents live for up to 18 months, but most die before they are one year old.
Sanitation. Poor sanitation and garbage help their survival in residential areas. Good sanitation will effectively limit the number of rats that can survive in and around the home.
This involves good housekeeping, proper storage and handling of food materials and refuse. Removing clutter around homes allows inspection for signs of rats. Good sanitary practices will not end the invasion but it helps discourage rodents.
Rat-Proof Construction. The most successful and permanent form of control is to "build them out" by making their access to structures difficult or impossible.
Seal any openings larger than 1/4 inch to exclude both rats and mice. Openings where utility conduits enter buildings need sealing with metal or concrete. It's often necessary to cover edges with sheet metal to prevent gnawing.
The simple, inexpensive snap trap is effective and is available through Rid Alert. Bait traps with peanut butter, chocolate candy, dried fruit securely to the trigger.
Place them so that rats will pass directly over the triggers as they follow the natural course of travel. This is usually a route close to a wall.