Black Fruit Rats
Black Fruit Rats here in Florida everyone knows them as Roof Rats they are classified as “fruit” because they destroy crops. Primarily, they eat grapes but will also munch on apples, oranges, tomatoes, vegetables, and many other fruits that humans use for food or decoration.
Black Fruit Rats are omnivores, but they mainly eat fruit as a food source as well as the occasional insect. They will also eat seeds and roots from weeds growing in your garden. In addition, they have been known to chew through electric cables for insulation. The fur on their stomachs is much thicker than that of other rats, so it can be used as replacement insulation for power cables.
Black Fruit Rats
Black Fruit Rats Appearance
Black Fruit Rats come in two different colors: black and brown. The tip of their tails is white.
The average Black Fruit Rat weighs around 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), but some can weigh up to 4 or 5 pounds (1.8-2.5 kilograms). Their fur is short and fine, smooth to the touch.
Black Fruit Rat Habitat
These rats live in Florida and southern Georgia. They live in colonies of about 50 individuals, with up to 20 members in a family group. They usually select trees near human residences for their living quarters. Black Fruit Rats build large nests out of sticks and straw on tree branches, especially palm trees. Black Fruit Rats are very good climbers, so they can enter a house through small openings or climb up a tree and jump down to the roof of your home. They have been known to chew on wires from your attic and jump from roof-to-roof of neighboring homes!
Black Fruit Rat Behavior
Black Fruit Rats are nocturnal, so they will come out at night to look for food. They become active at sunset and continue eating until sunrise.
Black Fruit Rats have been known to carry diseases that can spread from these pests to humans. For this reason, it is best not to handle a rat unless you really have to. If you must store or dispose of a dead rat, do not touch it with your bare hands. Use gloves, tongs, or pliers when dealing with dead rats so you do not come in contact with their saliva or any other part of the body that may carry bacteria.
Black Fruit Rat Prevention
Black Fruit Rats breed quickly, so if you have a rat problem, it will not go away on its own. You must take action to remove the pests from your home and keep them away. First, seal any holes in your house’s exterior to prevent these rats from entering rooms inside your home. Next, regularly clean up food sources around your house. If you have fruit trees in your yard, make it a point to pick up fallen fruit and clean up any fruit that is rotting on the ground. Black Fruit Rats are drawn to food sources that are close to their nests, so keep this in mind when storing food in your kitchen or pantry.
If you find any Black Fruit Rat in your Charlotte County home, contact Bug Off Pest Charlotte immediately. We can help rid you of these garden pests and get your lawn or yard back to normal! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about Black Fruit Rat or any other pest. Call us today 941-676-2005