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Roof Rat Biology

Roof rats are also commonly known as black or ship rats. They are long, slender rodents that reside in arboreal spaces. Roof rats may inhabit trees, roofs, eaves or attics. Their tails are as long as or longer than their bodies.

Roof rats can be carriers of several diseases and are formidable pests in human dwellings. They are thought to have been one of the carriers of the fleas which caused the Black Death in Europe. Fleas on the rats bite and spread the plague to humans. Roof rats are also capable of spreading illnesses through their bite, urine and droppings.

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