The roof rat, or black rat (Rattus rattus) is an Old World rodent species not native to North America that was identified in a Phoenix neighborhood in 2001. It poses both a health and safety hazard. The roof rat is implicated in the transmission of a number of diseases to humans, including murine typhus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and plague. It is also capable of transmitting a number of diseases to domestic animals and is suspected in the transference of ectoparasites from one place to another. In addition to consuming and contaminating stored food and feedstuffs, roof rats will gnaw on wiring (posing a fire hazard), and tear up insulation to use it for nesting material. The rats will feed on the fruit and vegetative portions of many landscape and garden plants including the bark of trees. Their feeding and gnawing may completely girdle young trees. Roof rats will often eat the pulp from oranges while the fruit is stil
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