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Rats are expert climbers, just like they are experts at other things too. In fact, if you were to pit a rat up against any number of other animals, wild or domesticated, you'd find that the rat comes off the most talented.
Rats can climb, swim, jump, burrow, squeeze, and contort. That means they can get pretty much anywhere they want to.
Brown rats (also known as the Norway rat) are better suited to life on the ground, preferring to live in burrows. Black rats are the ones that are usually found up in the attic, but it isn't actually that uncommon to find both rat species in either place. It's pretty surprising how fast all rodent species have adapted and evolved to survive in places we wouldn't think they could.
Rats can climb most surfaces that are textured. This includes brickwork and drywall, concrete, wood, netting, and more. If the paws and claws can get some sort of foothold, they can climb a wall in the same way that a human would do parkour. It's actually pretty incredible to watch, although, definitely an eye-opener. Shiny and smooth surfaces, on the other hand, prove much more difficult. They are unable to get their claws into smooth surfaces, such as glass or shiny plastics, and are left unable to get any height. They can still chew through the plastic they can't get over, though.
Using this clever climbing action rats can get into all sorts of places, actually using barriers such as fences and walls to gain higher access. When you add this to the fat that rats only need a space around 3/8 inch wide, there are very few places that a rat can't reach or chew into.
Go back to the Rat Removal page, or learn tips to do it yourself with my How to Get Rid of Rats guide.