There are two species of rat found in the UK,
Rattus Norvegicus which is more commonly known as the Brown Rat or Common Rat and the Rattus Rattus, which is more commonly known as the Black Rat or Ship Rat. The latter is now rarely found in the UK.
The Brown Rat often weighs over half a kilo and can measure 23cm in length, excluding the tail and is the larger of the two species. Both species reach sexual maturity at around 3 months of age and each female can produce between 3-12 litters of 6-8 young in just one year. Rats will live in any area that provides food, water and shelter. Within a property they will live in roof spaces, wall cavities and under floor boards. In gardens they will burrow into grassy banks, under patio areas and garden structures and under decking. Once a suitable habitat is found rats very quickly reproduce to take advantage of the new food supply and in no time at all they become a major infestation.
Rats are known to harbour a number of diseases including:-
- Weils disease
- Foot and Mouth disease
Due to high reproduction and infestation rates it is advisable that a professional pest control company is contacted for all manner of rat control.