The brown rat (rattus norvegicus) is one of the most common pests worldwide. They live nearly everywhere that humans do, and researchers call them one of the most successful mammals on the planet. The brown rat goes by many names including: Norway rat, common rat, and sewer rat. Regardless of the name you call it, you definitely don’t want to see this rat in your home.
Characteristics of Brown Rats
Brown rats are quite large, growing up to 28 cm long (head and body) and weighing up to 500 grams. The tail of the brown rat is not quite as long as the rest of its body, but adds an additional 10-24 cm. Although they are known as brown rats, they can be brown or grey in color, and their underside is usually lighter. They also have small ears and blunt noses. Brown rats are sometimes mistaken for their smaller cousin the black rat (roof rat), but black rats have bigger ears, pointed noses, and their tails are longer than the length of their bodies.
Brown Rat Behavior
Brown rats are nocturnal creatures with excellent hearing and sense of smell. They are also great climbers, swimmers, and diggers. Brown rats build extensive burrow systems and tend to live in subsurface areas like cellars or sewers. They like to live underground because it provides temperature regulation, safety from predators, and a place to store food. Unfortunately for us, they are very adaptable and are now constant pests among humans in large urban areas, loving alleyways, sewer systems, and apartment buildings.
Brown rats are difficult to control because they reproduce so quickly. A female brown rat’s gestation is a mere 21 days, and she can have up to 14 pups in each litter. Those pups will then reach sexual maturity in only 5 weeks. When all is said and done, the brown rat population can grow from 2 to 15,000 in only one year!
Rats are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plant and animal matter. They live mostly on grains, but will eat nearly anything if needed. They are especially attracted to trash, sewage, and compost.
Rats pose several dangers to humans, so they should not be taken lightly. Not only do they carry a large number of pathogens that can result in many diseases, but they also can damage homes by chewing through wiring, woodwork, insulation, plastic, and pipes. Prevention of rats is important. Here are some things you can do to keep rodents away.
- Seal the exterior of your home
- Keep your yard and garden well-groomed and trimmed
- Get rid of trash and debris in your yard
- Store wood away from the home and off the ground if possible
- Make sure drain covers are in good repair
- Always put lids on your rubbish bins
- Cover compost heaps
- Don’t use excess bird feed in your yard
- Don’t leave your pet’s food and water outside overnight
- Eliminate excess moisture by fixing leaky pipes or faucets, cleaning out gutters, and fixing the landscaping
Sunshine Coast Rodent Control
Even the best preventive measures do not always work. If you are dealing with a rodent infestation, contact Radar Pest Control today. Our excellent technicians have the experience needed to take care of the problem. We have several different treatment options that will work, and we will customize a plan that will best meet your particular problems and preferences. For rodent control on the Sunshine Coast, you can’t beat Radar Pest Control.