Rats have become a very large problem in Georgia. They have adapted to living with humans and love to occupy attics and crawl spaces. They can have litters ranging from 2-12 with a short gestation period of 3 weeks. The female enters a postpartum estrus period 18 hours after giving birth and can breed again. The females can breed up to 7 times a year. Because their reproductive rates are such, they can move into an area and quickly multiply and cause major damage to structures and crops. Rats like squirrels, love to chew, and will chew on houses, wires, ducts, and pipes. Rats are very opportunistic feeders and will invade the living space looking for food.
Norway rats sometimes called Wharf rats or Sewer rats are primarily nocturnal (active at night) and are more ground dwelling rats. They are larger in body size compared to the roof rats and have shorter tails compared to their body. Norway rats tend to burrow more often living in the ground and crawl spaces of homes and buildings. There are over 30 different types of diseases that are associated with rats and their droppings. Some diseases are more prevalent in certain parts of the country.
Roof rats are primarily nocturnal (active at night) and are more arboreal rats. They are smaller in body size compared to the Norway rat, but have longer tails compared to their body length. There are excellent climbers and tend to stay in higher areas (tops of trees, vines, and shrubs). Roof rats are more commonly found in attics compared to Norway rats, but are common in crawl spaces.