What Do Rats Eat?

Rats, despite what you may have heard, aren’t exactly picky when it comes to what they eat. So, if they can’t find something they prefer, they will chomp on whatever they can get (to a point).

That said, household trash, rubbish piles, pet food, and livestock feed, are among their primary sources of preferred sustenance. And, to be perfectly clear about the sort of rodent we are discussing, if they are hungry and desperate enough, rats will go as far as to eating their own droppings to stay alive.

In this guide, I’ll cover what do rats eat.

What Do Rats Like To Eat?

Again, rats will eat just about anything they can get their paws on if they can’t find one of their preferred meals. That said, there is plenty of stuff they actually enjoy and more than likely go out of their way to sink their pointy little teeth into. 

In nature, rats mow down on anything from seeds to fruits to nuts and vegetables. Sometimes, rats in the wild will even eat other small animals (though not often because they are too lazy to hunt for the most part) 

In your home, they have a whole lot more variety when selecting what’s for dinner. And, once they have ventured into your yard, it is only a matter of time before they will come exploring your home for possible food sources.

In the yard, rats are likely to search for garbage cans, rubbish piles, gardens, and livestock or pet food before considering to approach the house (with its noisy humans and danger).

Common Household Items Rats Eat

Some of the most preferred foods that rats will help themselves into (and eat themselves silly on) include:

  • Cereals
  • Rice
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Candy
  • Oats
  • Garbage
  • Fatty Foods
  • Leftovers
  • Cookies
  • Water

What Attracted Rats To My Home In The First Place?

For the very same reasons you find your home as a safe haven, rats do too; it offers them shelter, food, and water. The three main things required for living.

If rats have shown up around your home lately, take a walk around your property and search for areas that you can clean up (such as firewood, rubbish, and uncovered trash cans). These problem areas are more than likely offering the same security to rats as your home itself.

The less rats feel safe and secure in your yard, the fewer of them will stick around and make it to the house.

In addition to checking the yard, have a good look at the rest of the house and property as well. Are their exposed wires, significant structural damage, or leaking water anywhere? If so, these are allies of the rats so be sure to deal with them accordingly (quickly and efficiently).

Dealing With The Rats

Rats, like most hungry and desperate rodents, will eat nearly anything their teeth will shred into. This includes garbage, metal, plastic, and wood. That said, of course, they enjoy certain things better than others. And, for setting traps, this knowledge is extremely useful to know (as well as for rat prevention).

Peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, and anything fatty or dripping with oil (or sugars) is sure to bring all the rats from the yard running in anticipation of a good meal.

You can read our guides here on how to prevent rats in your home.