The common brown rat is usually around 20 to 27cm long and its weight is around 100 to 500g. It is usually a brownish grey on the back and grey underneath, but colour varies.
Rats have a single pair of upper and lower incisor teeth, which are continuously growing, which explains why they cause so much damage as they have to gnaw to prevent these incisors from growing too long which prevents them from eating.
Rats generally stay within 50m of its home, but can range up to 300m. They may move every 2 weeks or so depending on the food source they are feeding on and may travel several kilometres to find more food.
Rats are mainly active at night and can be found in fields, gardens and sewers. They are sexually mature at around 3 to 4 months old and can produce 6 to 11 young.
How to prevent problems with rats
- Rats love compost bins. They are warm and full of food. Place wire mesh (1cm x 1cm) under the base of your compost bin or even better put it on a concrete base to stop rats getting in under the bin.
- Over hanging branches from trees that are touching the roof should be cut back to prevent rats getting access to the loft space.
- Keep rubbish in sealed bins with well fitting tops, and keep long grass to a minimum to reduce places for them to live.
- Ensure that drainage is in good repair. that drains are not broken and that inspection chambers are in good condition.
- Inspect your house and shed for any holes or faults in the brickwork. If the hole is not supposed to be there it needs to be repaired. Remember rats can get through holes as small as 25mm.
- Don't scatter food for birds in the garden. If you feed the birds, use a feed container or leave food down only for a short time for ground feeding.
Our Pest Control team can help with treating both rats and mice. There is a charge of £52.00 (including VAT) for this service, which includes up to 3 visits. Additional visits will be charged at £15 per visit.
To book please call 01295 227007 to arrange a visit.