- Common Rats - Norway Rats - Sewer Rats -
Appearance & Identifying Features:
Common rats (also known as Norway rats and sewer rats) are gray, black or brown in colour. With tails shorter than their bodies, their bodies can be up to 8 inches long with tails up to 4 inches long. They have small eyes and ears.
Rats tend to enter human habitats in Autumn when food sources become scarce. They climb easily and their agile bodies allow them to bend and squeeze their way through very small spaces.
They generally live on farm lands (in fields and ditches) and in buildings/structures. Rats can often be found in woodpiles.
Female rats can give birth 4 to 6 litters in a single year with each litter consisting of 5 to 10 babies. Young rats can reproduce within 3 months of birth so its' possible that a pair of rats can produce a population of 700 within a single year.
Threats to Humans:
Rats spread diseases such as Bubonic Plague, Typhus Fever and Salmonella. They carry fleas,mites, ticks and lice and can contaminate food products with urine and droppings. They can be very distructive and cause electrical fies from gnawing on cables.
Any cracks or holes larger than a quarter of an inch should be sealed. Bins that carry food waste should be sealed well away from houses and builings. Remove any debris that could be utilised for nesting such as old matresses etc.