Rats have always been attracted to humans because we are so accommodating. We supply them with food, water, and a warm and cozy place to thrive. If you take a look around your house and yard, you will realize that you’re unintentionally inviting rats into your home.

Can you notice that you: didn’t secure your garbage cans, left your dog’s food out, have hiding and living places in your yard, have rubbish lying around your yard, or have openings into your house and garage? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are, without a doubt, inviting these rodents onto your property.


Rats will eat anything they can find, so if you put more food items out for them, they will keep coming back and are more likely to set up a nest nearby.

Like any animal, rats prefer to live near a reliable source of food. Rats are always searching for food, they choose to have easy access to a constant food supply and they want it to be as close to the nest as possible.

Because these rodents have very poor eyesight, they don’t want to travel too far unless they don’t have a choice in case the food is scarce. They will keep a quite small perimeter in which to look for food from their nest.

So, How Far Will Rats Travel For Food?

How Far Will Rats Travel For FoodThe brown rat (also known as the Norway Rat), which is very common in the US, has an average home base range from 25 up to 150 feet from its nest. When under pressure, the brown rat can easily travel up to 300 feet on a daily basis to find food and water.

Rats that live close to available food sources will have a shorter range, but some unfortunate rats will need to travel much farther from the nest in search of food, even several hundred feet if needed.

The animals will usually wander these distances at night looking for places to feed. Other factors that also affect the nest range of a rat population include their population density as well as the time of year.

Shortly after sunset, rats come out and start searching for food, then return to burrows. Thus, if you see them during the day, it usually is an indication that a large rat population that has a limited food supply is nearby.

Rats also have a great memory, so once they find a place with a constant food supply, they will map it out and will remember all the routes to get around for a long time.

If the food item is too large to be eaten quickly or is in an exposed area, these rodents will carry it to their hiding place before consuming it. A rat eats up to 10% of its body weight a day but it can also hoard food to eat at a later time in places such as basements, attics, crawl spaces, sheds, or garages.

What Food Do Rats Eat?

rat-eatsAs rats are omnivores and opportunists, they will eat anything they come across and think it smells interesting, including carcasses and dog droppings! Household garbage is an excellent food source for them. Various food items from a trash can will guarantee them a well-balanced diet.

These rodents like meat, but can eat fish, cereal grains, pet food, livestock feed, and just about any human food they can find. Besides, rats will feed on a variety of fruits, garden vegetables, seeds, nuts, snails, slugs, insects, and bird seeds.

Brown rats will eat bigger portions of food compared to Roof rats. A Roof rat will consume food in several different places, which is important to know when implementing a bait and trap strategy.

With such a long menu list, you may be wondering whether it’s even possible to eliminate their food sources to avoid attracting these pests to your household. Luckily, it’s not as hard as you think.

  • Make sure to keep food and rubbish sealed tightly or in rodent-proof containers. Even though it’s possible that rats might chew through plastic garbage bins, the harder it is for them to get hold of the food scraps, the more likely they quit and go elsewhere.
  • Remember to store your pet’s food securely as well, and do not leave it out overnight.
  • Remove debris and trash from your yard and look for places where rats might like to nest like woodpiles and thick ground covers.
  • Ensure that all house openings are secured so that these pests don’t enter your home to seek food stored there.

Will Rats Leave if There Is No Food?

No matter where the rodents are coming from, be it your neighbor’s yard or any adjacent areas, the rats are on your property because they have found a great food source.

If there is no food source on your property, then the rats will leave. Rats need a continuous source of food so they will move on somewhere else where they can feed.

How Long Can a Rat Live Without Food?

It is not definitive to say how long a rat can live without eating, although some sources claim that it can only live around 4 days without food. However, it depends to a great extent on the rat’s organism.

For sure, rats can live longer without drinking water than they would without having anything to eat. This is because they get the fluid from the food they consume.

In addition, just like squirrels, rats like to store their acquired food. This allows them to still have some reserve in case their food source gets cut off for a while.

If you need help keeping rats away from your home or commercial property, call a Wildlife Troopers specialist at 561-809-4572 or contact us online to schedule a free inspection. We will work with you to find the right solution to eliminate the rat infestation once and for all. Don’t wait another day if you see evidence of rats, just get in touch with us today!

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