Rats Liverpool, Wirral, Warrington and Chester (Common Rat, Norway Rat, Sewer Rat, Wharf Rat)
The brown rat, common rat or Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) is the rat most frequently encountered in the UK. The black rat or ship rat is much reduced in numbers and often only found in dockyards. The brown rat is a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25cm long, with a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350g and the female 250g.
It is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America making it the most successful mammal on the planet after humans. The brown rat lives wherever humans live. Rats have excellent hearing and possess a highly developed sense of smell. They are good swimmers, excellent burrowers and can climb if there is sufficient foot holds and supports.
Brown rats are nocturnal, when rats are seen in the day time it is usually due to high population numbers. The dominant rats eat during the night and the lesser rats are forced to forage for food in the day. Rats are omnivorous and will eat most types of food available. They can breed at an incredible rate. A female rat can have 5 litters of young a year. Litter sizes can be up to 14 but are more commonly 6 or 7.
Rats can be controlled by a number of measures. The best method however is prevention. Rats will be drawn to an area by an availability of food and harbourage (places to live). By removing both the food and the living places in the environment the rats will not be able to survive. Of course this is in an ideal world. Rats are able to consume almost any type of food and removal would involve removing external bins, vegetable patches, bird feeders etc. Removal of harbourage is just as difficult.
So what do you do if you have brown rats?
Proofing of your living spaces is vital if rats are about. Any holes that they could gain access through should be blocked with wire mesh and builders foam. Any poor fitting doors should have bristle strip attached underneath to block the gap. If rats are already inside your property you need to act fast. Rats carry many communicable diseases. The best methods for rat control are baiting (poisoning) and trapping (break back traps, Fenn traps, glue boards and live capture). Different measures are employed in different circumstances.
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