Principally an outdoor rodent, although it occasionally enters structures. It is a pest problem in landscape, where it feeds on produce and green vegetation, as well as in agriculture where they consume grains, cotton, some vegetables in row crops, and feed crops. They create and use well-defined runways and shallow, connecting burrow systems. These rats are active year-round, are primarily nocturnal, and very aggressive toward each other. They have a high reproductive capacity, with a gestation period of only 27 days, an average of about 6 young per litter, and up to 10 litters in a year. Their average life expectancy in nature is only 6 months.
Control is similar to other outdoor rodent problems. The use of bait products either scattered in infested open areas or placed in bait stations, along with trapping in burrows or runways is effective. The use of burrow fumigants may not be effective due to the shallow nature of the burrow and the numerous openings. Habitat modification by plowing of the soil, vegetation removal, or other efforts to reduce protective cover for the rodents also is suggested.