What Foods Do Rats Eat?The stereotype about rats is that they love cheese, but they actually prefer many other foods to this dairy product. Rats like foods that contain lots of sugar, including fruits such as peaches, kiwi, grapes, pears, and watermelon. They are also known to gnaw on crunchy vegetables like carrots, asparagus, cucumber, peas, and broccoli. Rodents also enjoy nuts and some rats, notably the ones that are used to city living, will even eat meat. Most foods that humans eat, rats and mice will at least attempt to eat. Rats have a unique digestive tract in that they are unable to throw up. This means that they tend to avoid certain foods that are hard to digest, such as raw sweet potatoes, artichokes, rhubarb, cabbage, dried corn, and unripe bananas. Rats also should not eat citrus fruits, and ironically, blue cheese. Consumption of these foods can cause rats illness or extreme discomfort.
Reasons To Put Food AwayBecause rodents will consume, or at least attempt to consume, nearly everything, it is important to not keep food out for long periods of time in order to make it less enticing for rats and mice to enter a home. Two of the main reasons rodents take up residence in a house are for food and a warm place to sleep or nest. Some things to consider include:
- Keeping food in tightly sealed containers, whether hard plastic or glass
- Gathering fruit off the ground that has fallen from trees
- Take out the trash as soon as possible once it is full, and keep trash in a covered bin
- Keeping fruit and vegetable gardens at a reasonable distance from the house