Dealing with rats often involves baiting them into a trap or into eating poison. You might even be wondering what the daily diet of a wild rat consists of simply out of curiosity. Either way, in this article, we’re going to take a look at what rats eat in the wild.
Not very picky eaters
Humans and rats have been living together for thousands of years, and partly the reason for this cohabitation is that both rats and humans are omnivorous. However, you could say that rats are much more omnivorous than humans, meaning that their diet is more extended than ours. This means that rats can find nutritious meals in almost any environment, the only difference between a wild rat’s and a commensal rat’s diet being what’s available around them.
This does not mean that rats do not have preferences. Whichever environment they may find themselves in, they will go for specific types of food over others. If they cannot find any food at all, they will simply start nibbling on any substance or material that they do not recognize in order to determine if it’s edible. This behavior is also what contributes to various control methods becoming obsolete over time. As a rat notices that certain tastes lead to it being poisoned, feeling ill or in danger, it will start to avoid them.
Talking about specific food groups, rats are mainly interested in plants, meat, nuts, seeds and eggs. Wild rats will go around looking for fruits and berries, which they will find plenty of during the summer, and they will eat any edible wild vegetables that they can find, although these are much rarer. When it comes to meat, they are not very picky. They will go for carrion and insects, and we can see how much rats in urban areas love their hotdogs and hamburgers.
Nuts and seeds are also plentiful in the wild. Rats enjoy the protein-rich nature of these foods, and nuts and seeds also have plenty of vitamins in them. Finally, in their search for protein, rats will often look for birds’ nests to eat the eggs. They will climb trees, go in chicken coops, and forage on the ground for these eggs. Eggs also have a bonus if there is a small bird embryo inside them, which will prove to be an ample source of protein.
Knowing what rats eat in the wild can help us bait our own traps. Foods that are rich in protein, such as peanut butter, or rich in sugar, such as candies or honey, are very effective baits. If you would like to find out more about rat control, or if you need someone to take care of an infestation, contact us today.