Rat diet consists of everything humans eat; i.e. they are omnivorous. They eat all types of growing plants including seeds and nuts, leaves and fleshy fruits, bark and woody stems. They will eat insects, and our meaty leftovers.
Rats will diet on most anything. This will include meat from pigs and poultry, chicken and bovine. They are quite partial to cat and dog food, too. Anything left unattended in the garbage can is fair game for all species of rat. They find cereal grains most appealing, however, as grains provide much needed nutrients. Fish will be most appreciated as will nuts and water containing lettuce and celery. Rats require about one-half (½) to one (1) ounce of water daily.
Roof rats are quite happy to partake in fruits and berries including avocados, lemons and oranges that are still on the tree. The bitterness of the lemon rind is often taken in with delight, while orange rinds are left hanging with the interior portions of the fruit cleaned out completely. They will finish a meal with slugs and snails.
Rats will generally travel about 150 feet to get to food and have been known to travel upwards of 300 feet to get to food.
Rat Diet-Physical Attributes
The diet of rat is assisted through several physical attributes. These include the ever growing incisors common to all rodents, and an excellent swimming ability. As with all rodents, rats have two (2) front teeth that don’t quit growing. These incisors are always at the ready to gnaw their way through the toughest nut shell or wooden window frame to get to the food most desired by the animal.
Water won’t stand between a rat and its desire to feed on your leftovers! They are built to swim, with lungs that can hold air for extended periods and feet that can propel them through the sewer that leads into your home. The rat has the physical prowess necessary to enter your home and share in your meals!
Rat Diet-Benefits and Detriments to Humans and the Ecosystem
The rat diet has many detriments. Because of their propensity to carry diseases harmful to man, their quest for food can only lead to contaminated food sources for humans. Additionally, because of their reproductive prowess, their populations can get out of hand fast leading to increased reduction of crops and backyard garden fruits.
With so many food choices it is no surprise the there are many detriments to the rat diet.