6.5.2  Behaviour of rats

Rats are active at night. Although the vision of rats is poor, they have keen senses of smell and hearing, and a well-developed sense of touch via their nose, whiskers and hair. They like the same food as people and prefer it fresh, although they will eat almost anything. Rats constantly explore and learn about their environment, memorising the locations of pathways, obstacles, food and water, shelter, and other elements in their domain. They quickly detect, and tend to avoid, new objects placed in a familiar environment. Thus, objects such as traps and baits are often avoided for several days or more following their initial placement. While both species exhibit this avoidance of new objects, it is usually more pronounced in roof rats than in Norway rats.

6.5.1  Types of rodent

6.5.3  Public health importance of rodents