Norway brown rat

(Rattus norvegicus)
Norway Brown Rat

Habitat

Rat of the developed urban environment and is found worldwide, largely in developed towns and cities. It is generally a terrestrial burrowing species but can be found in buildings and sewers. Often enters domestic roof spaces with the potential ability to cause severe damage to electrical cables and stored items.

Biology

Reaches sexual maturity within 2-5 months. Pregnancy lasts an average of 23 days. Average number of litters per year is 3-6 each containing 7-8 young rats. They require about 25g of food per day (approx. 10% of body weight) and 25ml of water each day. They can carry many Diseases including, Murine typhus via fleas, Weils disease, Salmonellosis via their droppings which is between 30-180 per day and 16cc of urine everyday.

Severity

Very serious pest species. Causes contamination of goods and machinery. Destruction of domestic and commercial stock. Serious disease carrier.

Solution

Proofing of access points in building to help prevent entry. Remove all access to food sources such as unprotected bin storage areas. Use of rodenticides or traps to completely illiminate infestation.Treatments should only be undertaken by qualified technicians.

Interesting facts

Rats can chew through metals such as copper and aluminium. They are a very clean animal, they spend several hours per day grooming themselves. Rats have an excellent memory. Once they learn a route, they will never forget it.

WEIL’S DISEASE

Weil’s disease is a form of a bacterial infection also known as Leptospirosis that is carried by animals, most commonly in rats. It can be caught by humans through contact with rat urine, most commonly occurring through contaminated water. Although human infection in the UK is minimal it is still worth taking some preventative measures to decrease the possibility of infection.