Of the two rats species in the U.K. the Common, Brown or Norway Rat (Rattus norvegicus) is different from the Black Rat (Rattus rattus) by size, nose, tail length and larger ears. Droppings also differ in shape. The Black Rats is of little significance as a pest problem now, however, as a contrast, The Common or Brown Rat is a major pest in both Town and Country environments.
The Common Rats is can be found in all types of buildings, sewers and farm environments. They are usually ground living and burrowing, but are equally at home climbing into elevated harbourages. They are the only species found in sewer systems. The preferred foods are cereal grains but will happily feed on most foodstuffs. The Common Rat has the ability to reproduce prolifically given the ‘ideal’ breeding conditions. i.e. Gestation period – 3 weeks. Litter size = approx.. 7 – 8. Number of litters per annum = 3 – 6. Period from birth to sexual maturity = 10 – 12 weeks.
The control of rats is of vital importance due to diseases carried such as: Salmonellosis (Intestinal Infections) WEIL’S DISEASE (Leptospiral Jaundice) Trichinosis (Roundworm)