Both of the two main species of rat in Atlanta, the roof rat and the Norway rat, come from Europe and Asia originally. They both traveled to the U.S. by stowing away on ships, and are most well-known in urban areas and on farms with plenty of access to open grains.
Roof rats are also called black rats. They are arboreal tree climbers and are most likely to be found in treetops of fruit trees, attics, rooftops, barn rafters and chimneys. Norway rats are also known as brown rats. They are a lighter color and are the species that was bred into the lab rat. Norway rats are burrowers and are found in tree hollows and extensive underground burrows. In cities, they are in basements and crawl spaces.
Rats are a large species of rodent. They are in the family Muriodea, which includes both rats and mice; typically the biggest difference between the two is the size of the species. There are 51 species of true rats worldwide within the rat genus, Rattus. None of them are native to the U.S. However, North America is home to species like the kangaroo rat and pack rat that have the name even though they are not true rats.
Both species of rat are opportunistic feeders. They will eat both meats and vegetables. Norway rats love homes with livestock that eat open grain, like chickens. Roof rats love fruit orchards, like peach trees. They tend to create a home that is within a few feet of their main feeding grounds. Rats are highly intelligent and very trap shy. They can be tricky to eliminate because of this. Both are highly concentrated within the most urban areas of Atlanta because of easy access to open dumpsters. Rat removal in Atlanta usually requires a combination of trapping, exclusion, and eliminating food sources. This is best done by a wildlife removal expert.