Roof rats fur is smooth and usually gray-black or brown in color with black or white-gray underbelly fur. Tails are hairless, scaly, and long. Roof rats are also commonly called ship rats or black rats.
Roof rats are 16 inches in length from the tips of their noses to the ends of their tails.
These rodents have excellent senses of hearing, taste, touch, and smell, although their sense of sight is quite poor. At three months of age a roof rat has reached maturity and is capable or reproducing. Females have 4 to 6 litters per year with a gestation period of 21 to 23 days. Each litter produces 6 to 12 pups. Preferred foods include berries, fruit, vegetables, pet foods, nuts, grains, decomposing food, snails, and slugs.
Roof rats can be found in garages, sheds and other outbuildings. When they venture indoors, they can be found in ceilings, underneath flooring, and within walls. These rodents are known for their excellent climbing abilities, which is where the name “roof rat” derives from. They oftentimes climb to the tops of buildings and make their homes within roofing structures and in attic spaces.