They are also found in agricultural areas, such as in barns and crop fields. In urban areas they prefer to live in dry upper levels of buildings, so they are commonly found in wall cavities and false ceilings. Rats will eat nearly any type of food, but they prefer high-quality foods such as meat and fresh grain.
Rats require 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce of water daily when feeding on dry food so are often found close to water sources. Rats have keen taste, hearing and sense of smell. They will climb to find food or shelter, and they can gain entrance to a building through any opening larger than 1/2 inch across. The black rat, along with the brown rat, is one of the most widespread animal species in the world.
Diseases carried by Black rats
Salmonella – Carried by all rodents. This can cause mild to severe gastric illness.
Trichinosis – Pork roundworm. Initially the worm lodges in the intestines, but the larvae may invade the muscles to form cysts that are often resistant to drug treatment.
Rat Bite Fever – Murine Typhus spread by lice on the animal, they die of it, but not before they have passed it on.
Weil’s Disease – Leptospiral Jaundice (Leptospirosis). Symptoms are initially flu like, with a severe persistent headache; if someone exhibiting these symptoms has been in an area where there are rats, then they should seek immediate medical advice as this potentially fatal condition can cause damage to the liver and kidneys and needs early treatment.