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Pest Control

Rats

Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents. Species of rats are found throughout the order Rodentia, but stereotypical rats are found in the genus Rattus. Other rat genera include Neotoma (pack rats), Bandicota (bandicoot rats) and Dipodomys (kangaroo rats). … There are 56 known species of rats in the world.

rat, (genus Rattus), the term generally and indiscriminately applied to numerous members of several rodent families having bodies longer than about 12 cm, or 5 inches. (Smaller thin-tailed rodents are just as often indiscriminately referred to as mice.) In scientific usage, rat applies to any of 56 thin-tailed, medium-sized rodent species in the genus Rattus native to continental Asia and the adjacent islands of Southeast Asia eastward to the Australia-New Guinea region. A few species have spread far beyond their native range in close association with people.

The brown rat, Rattus norvegicus (also called the Norway rat), and the house rat, R. rattus (also called the black rat, ship rat, or roof rat), live virtually everywhere that human populations have settled; the house rat is predominant in warmer climates, and the brown rat dominates in temperate regions, especially urban areas. Most likely originating in Asia, the brown rat reached Europe in the mid-1500s and North America around 1750. The house rat most likely originated in India.

Brown and house rats exploit human food resources, eating and contaminating stored grains and killing poultry. They have been responsible for the depletion or extinction of native species of small mammals, birds, and reptiles, especially on oceanic islands. Both the brown and house rat have been implicated in the spread of 40 diseases among humans, including bubonic plague, food poisoning, schistosomiasis, murine typhus, tularemia, and leptospirosis.

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