Two types of rats we have here in the NJ and PA area are Roof Rats and Norway Rats.
Roof RatsRoof rats get their name from their tendency to be found in the upper parts of buildings. Ranging in size from 6 to 8 inches in length, not including their tails, they have very poor vision and are color blind. They do have extremely strong senses of hearing, smell, touch and taste.
Roof rats secured their place in history by spreading the highly dangerous bubonic plague. They support many ectoparasites and urinate on food.
Norway rats have smaller eyes and ears and shorter tails. Norway rats live in fields, farm lands and in structures. Rats are often found in woodpiles. Rodents can gain entry to a home through a hole the size of a quarter. Rats can chew through wiring, causing fires. They also spread numerous diseases.
Prevention and Control
To prevent rats from entering a home, seal up any holes or cracks larger than a quarter. Remove sources of moisture and harborage. Keep firewood stored well away from the structure.