Roof rats will eat almost anything to stay alive! However when they have a choice, they prefer a diet similar to squirrels. They will eat as they move and seek other resources so the more traps you set, and the less roof rat food available, the better your chances of eliminating roof rats will be.


Roof rats prefer to eat fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

When roof rats have a choice, they prefer a diet similar to squirrels. Roof rat food includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Berries
  • Fruit

Citrus trees are a roof rat’s favorite food.

Roof rats become more abundant during the months of November through May. The cooler weather and producing fruit trees attract them in great numbers. Unsurprisingly, these rats are not picky. They will eat both unripe or rotten fruit just the same as fruit that’s in its prime. Some fruit trees and excellent roof rat food common to Arizona include:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Apple
  • Peach
  • Plum
  • Apricot
  • Fig
  • Pomegranate

Water is just as important as food.

Roof rats mainly eat fruit for its water content. Other water sources for roof rats include:

  • Your dog’s water bowl is a prime water source
  • A leaky hose bib is watering more than just the ground – get it fixed!
  • Your irrigation system may be on too long, causing pools of water
  • Bird feeders and fountains can also be a source for roof rats
  • Air conditioner condensation and/or drip line
  • Plant saucers under potted plants


Roof rats eat household items? Yes, don’t think twice…

You may unknowingly be feeding roof rats. They will eat many common household items in addition to actual food. Such as:

  • Houseplants
  • Paper
  • Candle wax
  • Trash (of any kind)
  • Pet food
  • Farm animal feed
  • Bird seeds
  • Tree bark

Roof rats are omnivores. Roof rats will eat meat.

Roof rats eat anything is available to them, even meat. Such as:

  • Leftover rotisserie chicken bits
  • Fish and shrimp
  • Beef chunks
  • Raw or cooked eggs
  • Bugs
  • Small lizards



Where do Roof Rats Live?