This Rat is also known as the Black Rat, Ship Rat, and House Rat. The Roof Rat also originated in Asia, but further south than the Norway Rat in the dense forests. The Roof Rat, as per its name, prefers aerial harborages. This Rat was the common Rat in homes in Europe during the outbreaks of the plaque known as the “Black Death”.
Adults are medium-sized Rats weighing about 8 to 12 ounces , and measuring about 16 inches in total length from nose to the tip of the tail. This is about the same total length as the Norway Rat with the biggest and key identifying characteristic being the tail. The Roof Rats Tail is LONGER than the body.
In the U.S. the Roof Rat is much more restricted in its range than the Norway Rat, Mostly being established in the south-central and south-eastern states and along the entire West Coast.