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Latin Name: Rattus norvegicus
Months of Activity: January - December
The brown rat, or Norway rat, is one of the best known and most common rats. It is primarily nocturnal, although some individuals can be spotted during the day in highly populated areas.
Their diet is extremely broad, and they will almost anything that is edible, with a food preference for grain. They eat more meat than the black rat, and if they get the opportunity, they will eat carrion and will prey on other animals.
Although brown rats do not carry bubonic plague they do harbour an impressive array of other diseases, such as Weils Disease, Salmonella, Rat Bite Fever (murhine typhus), Trichinosis and Hantavirus.
One of the largest rodents, the brown rat is a brown or grey rodent with a body up to 25cm long, and a similar tail length; the male weighs on average 350g and the female 250g.
The brown rat can breed throughout the year if conditions are suitable, with a female producing up to five litters a year. The gestation period is only 21 days and litters can number up to fourteen, although seven is common.
The maximum life span is up to three years, although most barely manage one. A yearly mortality rate of 95% is estimated, with predators and interspecies conflicts as major causes.
Preventing an infestation brown rats can be achieved by rodent-proofing your home. However, if you already have an infestation, control and treatment methods would include rodenticide grains, wax blocks, pasta baits, gels, contact dusts, liquid bait, a variety of humane traps and live catch traps.
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