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Brown rats are also known as sewer rats, Norway rats or common rats.


Control of the rat is very important as they can carry a wide range of diseases and parasites which are potentially harmful to humans and other animals. Diseases such as Leptospirosis and Weil’s disease can be fatal in humans, and toxoplasmosis and salmonella may affect both humans and animals.


As well as spreading disease, rats can do a great deal of damage to the structures of buildings because they have to gnaw and so can cause serious damage to the fabric of buildings and risk of electrical faults, fire and structural collapse.


Professional help is needed to treat rats, particularly if you have an infestation in your home or business.


Where are brown rats found?

Brown rats are the most common rat in Britain. They are mainly found in close contact with humans.


During the autumn and winter months, rats seek shelter and food in warehouses, farms and roof spaces. Even in the summer months, if there is a ready supply of food, rats will take up permanent residence in buildings, rather than returning to the open countryside to feed on vegetation.


Rats are also often found in earth banks, compost or muckheaps, sewers and the structure of buildings. They may also be found in undisturbed storage areas, such as haystacks and heaps of tyres of pallets, and in piles of undisturbed rubbish if the sites are close to a ready supply of food.


Rats are creatures of habit. They are afraid of new things and new objects, and they like to move their food to their preferred feeding site. They also prefer group feeding. They will travel up to about 100 feet.


What do brown rats eat?

Brown rats will eat almost anything which is edible, but through choice prefer grain. They will also eat meat, including carrion and other animals, or indeed on other rats. On average, they will eat about 10% of their body weight every day, 25-30g, split into about 10 meals.


Rats have to drink and need about 60ml of water each day.


How to tell if you have rats

  • regular sightings, in the house, garden, shed or garage;

  • droppings usually grouped together,

  • droppings that look like black baked beans, jelly beans or raisins

  • grease smears, burrows and gnawed holes.

  • damage to the structure of the building, including wiring.

  • noises in the walls and on ceilings;


What do brown rats look like?

  • Colour: Brown to black on the upper head and body, with lighter undersides.

  • Appearance: A heavy blunt and chunky head, with small eyes and ears that look small in relation to the overall size of the head. The tail is shorter than the body, and is thick and heavy.

  • Average weight: 300g (11 ounces)

  • Length (with tail): 350 – 450 mm (14 – 18 inches)

  • Droppings: About 20mm (3/4 inch), spindle shaped and usually found in groups.


What to do if you have rats?

  • Deal with them promptly the faster you deal with them the less chance they will have to establish themselves and start to breed.

  • Get help from a professional pest control service. The first step to dealing with any infestation is to identify the source and control the environmental conditions that favour rats in the first place. Rats need food, shelter and water: removing any one of these needs will get rid of the infestation.

  • Maintain good standards of cleanliness and rubbish disposal:

    • remove accumulations of rubbish including pet faeces

    • keep food in rodent proof containers and dispose of spilled foods immediately.

    • keep the outside of the building clear of vegetation so as to expose any rat runs and burrows.

  • Keep the building in good repair and proof it against rodent entry by blocking up holes in walls, floors and doors.

  • Deal with any drainage defects promptly. Holes in pipes can give rats access to the roof space of your home.

  • Do not put bird food onto the ground. Use spill proof bird feeders and clear up any spillages as they occur.



Donkill Pest Solutions deal with all Rat problems, so if you would like a free survey please contact us on

0843 523 0537 or 07443476749


For more information on Rats please click here


(Free site surveys are subject to availability and are not to identify if you have a infestation in the first place (this can be mostly be done over the telephone))

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