Rats, Food, and Bait Shyness

A rat needs to eat at least one-tenth of its body weight every day. That adds up to 20 pounds of foot each year for an animal that weighs less than one pound. It has the ability to get nourishment from many sources giving it a great survival advantage when food is scarce. Although rats will eat virtually anything that will not eat them, they prefer high-quality foods including fresh grains such as wheat and rice, fruits, meats, fish, and even bird eggs raiding chicken coops. However, rats will eat food waste left behind by people and even dead animal flesh. If food becomes very scarce in a rat colony, rats may prey on and eat the younger, weaker members of the colony. Rats require one-half to one fluid ounce of water daily when feeding on dry foods. In the wild, rats attack nesting birds. They have been attributed with wiping out eighteen different bird species and putting at least 40 on the endangered species list.

Rats use their keen sense of smell to locate food. Their sense of taste is extraordinarily fine considering the types and sources of food rats willingly consume. They can detect some contaminant in their food at levels as low as .5 parts per million. That’s the equivalent of being able to taste a teaspoonful of chocolate in 1,300 gallons of milk.

Rats are instinctively cautious. It will take them a night or two before they’ll sample a new bait placed in their environment or sniff around a trap. They may eat very small amounts at first, like a taste-tester, and any subsequent feedings depend on the food and its physiological effect. If a poison sickens but does not kill them, they will associate food with the illness and avoid it. This is why sub-lethal dosages of single-dose acute toxicants are a problem: They result in “bait shyness.” Bait shyness can persist for weeks or months and may be transferred to nontoxic foods of similar types. Today’s anticoagulant rodenticides are slow acting so there are no symptoms of poisoning even if sub-lethal does is consumed.

Rats are visually impaired so distinctive colored bait is not a problem. They can only see about four feet in front of them, but can detect movement about 50 feet away in nearly total darkness. Until recently rats were thought to be completely color-blind. Studies now indicate that rats have panoramic, blurry vision with faint greens, blues, and ultraviolets. Because of their poor vision, baits can be died distinctive colors without causing avoidance by the rats.

Get a Free Service Estimate

If you have rats in your home, contact your local pest control professional for treatment right away. Cowley's Termite and Pest Control proudly serves Toms River, Edison, Brick, Trenton, Jackson, Englishtown, Asbury Park, East Brunswick and the surround New Jersey region. We offer free estimates and consultations to help you rid rats and other rodents from your home.

Related Pages:

Looking for a price? Get a no cost, no obligation free estimate.

Serving New Jersey
Our New Jersey Service Area
Cities in Mercer County, NJ
Hightstown
Hopewell
Lawrence Township
Pennington
Princeton
Princeton Junction
Titusville
Trenton
West Windsor
Windsor

Cities in Middlesex County, NJ
Avenel
Carteret
Colonia
Cranbury
Dayton
Dunellen
East Brunswick
Edison
Fords
Helmetta
Highland Park
Iselin
Keasbey
Kendall Park
Metuchen
Middlesex
Milltown
Monmouth Junction
Monroe Township
New Brunswick
North Brunswick
Old Bridge
Parlin
Perth Amboy
Piscataway
Plainsboro
Port Reading
Sayreville
Sewaren
South Amboy
South Plainfield
South River
Spotswood
Woodbridge

Cities in Monmouth County, NJ
Adelphia
Allenhurst
Allentown
Allenwood
Asbury Park
Atlantic Highlands
Avon By The Sea
Belford
Belmar
Bradley Beach
Brielle
Cliffwood
Colts Neck
Cream Ridge
Deal
Eatontown
Englishtown
Fair Haven
Farmingdale
Fort Monmouth
Freehold
Hazlet
Highlands
Holmdel
Howell
Imlaystown
Keansburg
Keyport
Leonardo
Lincroft
Little Silver
Long Branch
Manasquan
Marlboro
Matawan
Middletown
Millstone Township
Monmouth Beach
Morganville
Navesink
Neptune
Oakhurst
Ocean Grove
Oceanport
Port Monmouth
Red Bank
Roosevelt
Rumson
Sea Girt
Shrewsbury
Spring Lake
Tennent
West Long Branch
Wickatunk

Cities in Ocean County, NJ
Barnegat
Barnegat Light
Bayville
Beach Haven
Beachwood
Brick
Forked River
Island Heights
Jackson
Lakehurst
Lakewood
Lanoka Harbor
Lavallette
Little Egg Harbor Twp
Manahawkin
Manchester Township
Mantoloking
New Egypt
Normandy Beach
Ocean Gate
Pine Beach
Point Pleasant Beach
Seaside Heights
Seaside Park
Toms River
Tuckerton
Waretown
West Creek

Please call us at: 1-732-719-2717
View Our Latest
Sales & Coupons
All things Pesty from Cowley's Termite and Pest Control
Click for the BBB Business Review of this Pest Control Services in Neptune NJ
Reviews
Bill's Guide to Pest-Free Living in New Jersey
Affiliations
Cowley's Termite and Pest Control guarantee

You've got Bed Bugs? No Need to Panic!

Find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter Find us on Google+ View our Gallery on Pinterest View our videos on Youtube
PestWorld for Kids
Angies List