Figure 5-11. Typical life cycle of a flea.
a. Wild and Urban Lifestyle. Rats lead both a wild and an urban existence.
They are particularly important among rodents as reservoirs for plague,
endemic typhus, and other diseases communicable to man.
Also, when living in close association with man, rats:
Destroy subsistence and other supplies.
Contaminate foodstuffs, damage buildings.
Cause fire losses by gnawing insulation of electrical wires.
b. Location. Rats generally forage for food at night.
Domestic rats prefer to travel close to buildings or walls,
They have no aversion to entering and swimming in water.
They will nest and proliferate in numerous places including:
Double walls of buildings.
Holds of ships.
Burrows in the ground.
Other places affording shelter, food, and water.