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  • Writer's pictureMichael Sewell

The Brown Rat

Updated: Apr 4


There are two species of rat in Britain, the most common of which is Rattus Norvegicus, otherwise known as the Brown Rat or Common Rat. The other is Rattus Rattus, commonly referred to as the Black Rat or Ship Rat, which is now rarely found in the UK.


How big is the brown rat?

The brown rat is up to 40 cm in length, and it’s tail is shorter than it’s body and head. These rats grow up to 500g in weight, and usually have a blunt nose, thicker body and small ears.


How fast do rats reproduce?

When these rats reproduce, they can have 5-10 young per litter, and will have 3-6 litters per year. That’s a lot of babies! Their pregnancies only last 3 weeks, and they reach sexual maturity between 10-12 weeks after their birth.


What do rats eat?

They only need to eat around 30g of food a day to survive, and will drink around 60ml of water a day.


What do rats do?

These animals are generally nocturnal or active at dusk, when they dig burrows, prepare the nests and look for food. As good swimmers, the Brown rats are also known as 'water rats' and can often inhabit areas near water. The Brown rat is considered one of the most prominent pests around the globe.


Are rodent droppings dangerous?

Rodent droppings are not only unsightly, disgusting, and a sign of infestation, but they can also harbor pathogens that can make us sick. Rodent feces that contaminate food can cause food poisoning, and exposure to rodent droppings can also cause Hantavirus and murine typhus.


Why is rodent control important?

Rodents transmit diseases, contaminate food and surfaces, and damage our things. The reasons for control go far beyond the “ick” factor. The reality is that rodent control should be emphasized and prioritized more than it currently is.


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