The majority of rats in the UK are the known ironically termed the “Common rat”. It has been widely found throughout the UK since the 18th Century although the rat is thought to have originated from Norway.
This species of rat has developed in the urban environment and is commonly found in sewers, rubbish dumps, refuse sites and often close to water sources. Rat’s are prevalent in both residential and commercial habitats.
The rat tends to live in colonies, where strong hierarchical and social systems exist, with rats higher up in the ranking gaining better eating and drinking rights. The rat lives close to its food source and can smell food up to 3 Kilometres. Male rats will happily travel up to 700/800 meters per night within familiar home ranges.
As rats are mammals they prefer somewhere dry and secure to nest and if this also provides warmth then that is ideal. Hence rats can be found nesting in a variety of environments such as external burrows and lofts, within cavity walls. The rat will not discern between a building that is clean or dirty as their primary concern is access to a food and water source and a dry secure occupancy .Although rats are fearful of humans this will be an insufficient deterrent for them to nest in your home if their other requirements are met.
Rats have anatomy that allows them to squeeze through the smallest gaps due their collapsible rib cages, but even with gaps which are tiny the determined rat will gnaw through the miniscule gap and widen it to gain access to food and water. Rats are also very adaptable in transit and can scale high walls and jump up approximately 6 foot in height.
Rats are believed to have come from grain growing regions and can quickly adapt their diet to an astonishing variety of food including vegetables and meat, consuming about 20/30grams of dry food per day. Rats require access to a constant source of water.
Female rats have 6-11 babies in a litter which are weaned within 3 /4 weeks and sexually mature within 8-12 weeks. The gestation period is 21-24 days. The rat has a litter every 28 days, in ideal circumstances they will breed all year; hence rat numbers can quickly grow.
Rats spread diseases such as Weils disease shed from rat urine and walked onto surfaces, which as bacteria can be fatal to humans following minimal contact exposure. Rats can also spread other diseases including salmonella, tetanus, lymphocytic typhoid, ringworm, mites and fleas.
Rat faeces can sometimes be confused with other rodent types to the untrained eye and expert assessment is always best to effectively resolve rat activity and presence.
Rats cause endless damage to food stock .Rats chew constantly as their teeth are always growing so gnawing allows them to check for food and keep teeth sharp. They can chew through different materials from wood, to soft metal .
If you corner a rat to try and catch it, there is a chance it will use your body as a means of escape by running up your body and biting you, which can be painful given the rats sharp teeth as well as require medical attention.
If you believe you may have a rat problem then please do contact us for advice and an effective solution to your pest control issue.