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What Do Rats Like To Eat?

a rat on a pipe

Rats are voracious eaters who spend most of their time looking for food. Most people assume that these unwanted pests will eat anything they find. However, rats have preferred types of food and even favorite food items. Keep reading to learn more about what rats like to eat.

The best way to control rats is to enlist the help of professional pest control services. An expert can provide a treatment plan that is tailored to your home and rat infestation.

What Do Rats Like to Eat?

Rats are big eaters with what seem like insatiable appetites. They are considered omnivores, which means they prefer to eat fruits, vegetables and meat.

If they had their way, rats would prefer a diet of sweet fruits such as berries, apples and bananas. For vegetables, they like carrots, lettuce and broccoli. They will eat any type of meat and they enjoy grains.

However, rats are not picky when they get desperate. When their food options are limited, they will eat whatever they can get their paws on. Rats are scavengers who will search for anything edible instead of waiting for the perfect meal.

For example, you may find rats scavenging through your trash bins, compost piles and pet food containers. Since they can make a meal out of almost anything they find, rats can be hard to deter from your home. Luckily, there are ways to keep them at bay if you are proactive.

How to Deter Rats From Your Home

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping rats out of your home. By depriving them of easily accessible food sources, you can discourage their presence and create a less inviting environment. Here are some measures to consider:

  • Secure all food in airtight storage containers. Rats have sharp teeth and can chew through paper and plastic containers. Storing your pantry goods in hefty containers with airtight lids will eliminate valuable food sources for rats. Opt for thick plastic or metal. If you have pets, store their pet food in an airtight container as well.
  • Do not leave pet food out overnight. Rats are often active at night, so leaving pet food out overnight provides them with a reliable source of food on your property. Take up your pets’ food when they are not eating, especially at night.
  • Keep a tight lid on your trash bin. Your trash is a rat’s treasure, as they can find plenty of food sources by scavenging through your waste. Keep both indoor and outdoor trash bins covered with a tight lid, and do not let the trash overflow. Take out the trash in a timely manner, and do not let it pile up outside of the bin.
  • Keep vegetation in your yard clean and trimmed back. Overgrown trees, bushes, grass, debris and other outdoor clutter provide rats with the shelter they need to build a nest. Keep your lawn short and your vegetation trimmed back to deter these pests. Additionally, clear out any debris and trash from your yard on a regular basis.
  • Seal up entry points. Rats only need a tiny hole to be able to enter your home. Inspect your property for any possible rat entry points and seal them up right away.

The best way to control rats is by using a professional pest control service. An expert can offer a tailored treatment plan, find all potential entry points for you and suggest other ways to deter rats from your home.


Do Rats Eat Grass?

Rats are scavengers who will eat anything they can get their hands on, including grass. However, the grass is far from their first choice of food. Rats are more likely to feast on fallen fruit or nuts that they find in your yard.

If they can’t find their preferred foods outdoors, they will try to enter your home before eating grass. Houses and buildings provide shelter, food and water, which is why rats love to build indoor nests.

The reason rats prefer nuts, fruits, meat, vegetables and grains over grass is because they like to eat calorie-dense foods that provide them with energy. Rats require a lot of energy to scavenge for most of their waking hours, so they do not like to fill up on low-calorie foods like grass.

While rats may nibble on grass when they have no other options, they’re more likely to scavenge through your food waste to find their next meal. Contact a pest control professional if you notice rats in your yard or on your property.

a rat in grass

Do Rats Eat Dead Rats?

Something that most people don’t know about rats is that they will become cannibalistic in desperate times. They are known for their adaptability and resourcefulness, which sometimes leads them to eat other dead rats.

However, rats do not prefer to eat dead rats and only use cannibalism as a last resort. Most of the time, they can find food they prefer to eat, such as fruits, vegetables, meat and grains.

Rat cannibalism occurs in times of extreme scarcity when rats have no other options, and their survival instincts kick in.

If you have rats infesting your home that you need to control, the best option is to enlist the help of professional pest control services at the first sign of rats. An expert can use several professional-grade treatment methods to control the rat population on your property.

Rats reproduce rapidly, so trying to deal with a rat infestation on your own is not a good idea. A pest control specialist can control the rats and can implement preventative measures to help keep rats away in the future.

Control Rats With Professional Pest Control Services

Rat populations are difficult to control on your own since these pests are known for their diverse appetites. However, there are steps you can take to make your home less welcoming.

Rats require food, water and shelter to survive, so eliminating those three elements can help keep them out of your home. For example, fix all leaky faucets and eliminate standing water in your home and on your property.

Do not leave food on the counter. Instead, store food in your refrigerator, freezer or pantry in sealed containers. Keep your home tidy in order to eliminate potential nesting spots, especially in areas that offer nearby food sources, such as your kitchen. Some rats also like to nest in attics, so keeping clean and clutter-free is important.

Do not leave out potential nesting materials that rats can steal from your home at night, such as paper products or fabrics. Keep all materials in covered containers.

The best way to ensure that your home is inhospitable to rats is to request the help of a pest control expert. They can find your problem areas and create an effective pest control plan.

ABC Can Help With Any Pest Problems

It can feel frustrating when rats infest your property. Instead of spending your time trying to get rid of rats on your own, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our experts will be able to control the rodents on your property. We will create a custom pest treatment plan, so you don’t have to worry about these creatures.

Holt Myers

Holt joined ABC in 2021 as the Electrical & Appliance Operations Manager before transitioning to Division Manager for Pest Control. Before ABC, Holt worked as a Project Manager and Superintendent in Construction. Holt also served in the US Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007. Holt is a member of NPMA’s PestVets, Stewards of the Wild and Texas Wildlife Association. Holt is an avid outdoorsman, who loves to travel and spend time with his wife and daughter.

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