Brown Rats (Rattus Norvegicus)
The most common rat in Europe and the UK today is the brown rat or norway rat, the black rat / ship rat which was thought to be responsible for the plague is now rare and only found in ports.
Rats transmit diseases that can be fatal to humans such as Murine Typhus and Weil’s Disease as well as carrying damaging organisms, parasites and viruses eg: Salmonella bacteria, worms and nematodes.
LIFECYCLE: 9 - 18 months and reach sexual maturity in 2 - 3 months, they can have up to 7 litters per year, and each litter being 8 - 10 strong.
LENGTH: 200mm - 250mm long (adult)
WEIGHT: 300g (adult)
APPEARANCE: Shaggy and harsh fur coat, black and brown in colour on body and head, light grey underneath.
DROPPINGS: 20mm long, capsule shaped.
Rats can live in, and take advantage of any environment. They will exploit the smallest defect in a building's fabric to gain entry for food and warmth.
Rats are true omnivores, They will eat almost anything. they hoard food and consume up to 30 grams per day usually at night.
Unlike mice, they need water to survive, therefore making their nest close to food and water sources, and will travel up to 50 meters in search of either.
A rat's incisor teeth constantly grow and they need to gnaw to keep them worn down.
Rats can climb pipes, brick walls, overhanging trees, etc. they are physically very strong, and excellent swimmers.
Being creatures of habit, rats are predictable in nature, but can never be underestimated.
Rats are neophobic which means they will actively avoid new/unfamiliar objects. Rats burrow, preferably under shelter of shrubbery, bushes ,sheds, decking, etc.
They have a greasy coat which leaves a dirty smear mark around ingress holes and along runs.
When rats are found nesting in a dwelling,a strong 'almondy' smell may be apparent.