There are several monikers that the brown rat goes by including
- Street rat
- Hanover rat
- Common rat
- Sewer rat
- Norway rat
- Norwegian rat
- Wharf rat
- Parisian rat
However its scientific name is Rattus Norvegicus. Although it can be found in various parts of the world the brown rat is native to Asia. In the 1700 it was introduced to Europe and later found its way to the United States on the ships that made their way into the Americas. It has managed to succeed at surviving in different environments because it has the ability to adapt to any new surroundings. The brown rat will live in any environment that provides water, food, shelter. They will live inside human structures or they can burrow into a wet river banks or under a shed.
The brown rat looks like a mouse only with a bigger body and a scaly tail. The muzzle is blunt and the ears are small and pointed. It typically weighs over half a kilo with the weight going up depending on the availability of food. By this we mean does it have available food sources and shelter that keeps it away from the predators. Although it is called the brown rat it can be brown or black in color. Of course, there is the true black rat that is much larger than the brown rat with a much shorter tail.
The brown rat like all other rats has a very well developed sense of smell and taste. It is also has a keen sense of touch. Did you know that rats utilize ultrasound frequency to communicate giving them a fantastic sense of hearing. They are particularly sensitive to any type of noise that will get the scurrying out of the way and to safety.
Brown rat infestation
It is important to curb the infestation of brown rats because they are not only a nuisance but they are also disease carriers. They have been known to carry diseases like Listeria, Hantavirus, Bubonic plague, Salmonella and Toxoplasma.
Since they are gnawers the structural damage done by brown rats can cause fires, flooding by puncturing plumbing pipes and gas pipes leaking resulting even in death. In fact, according to the insurance sectors rats are responsible for 25% of the electrical fires in buildings.
How to prevent Brown rats?
Most people wonder how to prevent a brown rat infestation. Well there are a few things you can do.
- Begin by eliminating any places where the rat can hide. This means seal off the gaps and keep the area under the shed clean and clean. Rats can squeeze through any place that has a gap of 15mm.
- Cut down the areas around the yard and fence to keep the rats away from the house and prevent them from gaining entry.
- Cover any waste from the house and close the dustbin outside the house. Also find a way to cover the compost pit.
- Use poisons and traps to kill off the rats if you decide to do this yourself. Alternatively, call a pest control technician.