Common Rat or Brown Rat
The common Norway or brown rat typically has brownish fur on its back and grey underneath but its colour can vary from white through to black. Adult body length is 200 – 270mm plus a tail length of 150 – 200mm.
Signs of infestation:
Sightings of live or dead rats.
Common rat droppings can be 12mm long and taper at both ends.
Runs – rats follow the same routes when travelling and leave trails through the grass and low vegetation.
Footprints and tail swipes – on muddy or dusty surfaces.
Smears – dark grey, greasy marks left on surfaces by repeated contact with rat fur.
Burrows – entrance holes approximately 5cm in diameter in grassy banks, under tree roots, at the end of paving or drain cover surrounds.
Nests – sometime found indoors, in lofts or under floorboards.
Gnawing – rats gnaw continually, even on non-food materials, in order to wear down their front teeth.
Rats consume approximately 30 grams of food and approximately 60 ml of water per day.
The litter size can vary from 7 to 8 and a breeding pair can have between 3 to 6 litters per year, depending upon food availability and harbourage meaning that one pair of rats can have up to 48 offspring in one year.
After a period of 10 to 12 weeks rats are ready to breed.
Rats leave about 40 droppings per day.
Diseases carried by brown rats:
Trichinosis (Pork roundworm)
Murine Typhus (Rat Bite Fever)
Leptospirosis (Weils Disease)