Rats and most rodents have similar body structure. They belong to the same family. Rat is the most devastating among them. Only rats can be called as pest. Rats are long tailed animals ranging from small to medium size. These animals were initially found in Africa and Asia. They migrated worldwide on ships sailing for trade to different ports of the world. These rats are now present in every country in the world and doing their part in devastation. Many rodents are mistaken as rats since they look similar to rats. Mouse is smaller than rats but they are equally harmful. Other rodents do not cause as much harm as rats and mice do. There is no such place in the world where these rats and mice are not found. The rat found in houses is known as brown rat. These are the most commonly found rat in this world. This rat is also the most harmful rat in entire rat family.
These house rats like warm climates to live. The love to live in or near human habitat. They are night creatures. They come out of their holes during night hours only. But some of them are visible in both day and night to hunt and eat. They live in big groups. These groups are called packs. When a young pair of rats separate from their pack, they form a new pack in a new location. Their migration gives them new place to live and new resources of food. Rats eat anything. They can eat everything. But they are carnivorous by choice. They like to eat meat. Rats are solely dependent on humans for their food resources supply. They love to eat human food.
Rats eat grains. They prefer to scavenge through agricultural fields. They live in food grain warehouses and eat away. As per national estimate, 35 to 40 percent of reserve food grain stocks are destroyed by rats every year. Rats eat insects, living or dead. They eat small creatures like snails, small birds, mammals or reptiles for food. Rats eat fruits and seeds. In fact, there is nothing left by rats to be eaten and they harm humans mainly by destroying their food supply. Rats reproduce at an amazing speed. A brown rat or a house rat can produce up to 2000 offspring in a year. An average rat life span is two to three years. So, a rat produces about 6000 offspring before it dies. Rats are a major threat to human society. They harm human health in a profound manner. They transmit a number of serious diseases. Many of them fatal. Many of them in form of epidemics claiming million lives. The rats cause serious damage to human properties.
The rats eat human food, but they spoil the rest by dropping their hairs and excrete on them. They consume more than three times more than the world human population in a year. They spread epidemics to kill humans.