The Brown Rat is considered one of the most serious mammalian pests ever known; it's opportunist lifestyle, intelligence, agility, omnivorous diet and prolific breeding potential make it one of the worlds most successful mammals. They carry dangerous diseases such as salmonella, weils disease and rat bite fever. Rats must be controlled as they cause serious damage to property and crops. Some rats have developed resistance to modern rodenticides and that resistance is expected to increase. Rats are very difficult to trap but relatively easy to poison with rodenticides.
Where are they found?
Found in almost every type of habitat from woodlands, riverbanks and farmland to rubbish tips, sewers and urban areas.
- Usually lives outside or under buildings within burrows, but occasionally found in houses and lofts.
- When in domestic houses, they are most commonly heard moving about in the loft or cavity walls.
- There may be signs of them in the kitchen and particularly under the kitchen sink where pipes may enter the building.
- When in the garden they are most commonly seen feeding beneath the bird table or in the vicinity of poultry.
- They may be living under a garden shed, in the compost heap or in a local ditch or drain.
- brown rats are mostly nocturnal but may be seen in daylight if numbers are locally high
- they live in colonies from 3 or 4 individuals up to several hundred
- rats are wary of new objects in their territory
- they feed often and little, each consuming about 25-30 grams per day
- rats cannot regurgitate or be sick, hence their cautious approach to new food
- normally forage within 100 metres of the nest, but may travel much further if food is scarce