Bearing the scientific name Rattus norvegicus, they are common throughout the world. Launched in Asia, they spread across the world, mostly onboard ships. It’s thought that there are as many rats as people on the planet.
They are like but normally larger than mice. They’re omnivores and can eat almost anything. They feed on many different items including animal and plant materials. They nest in burrows or at any safe place that is usually situated close to their favored food source and water. They have the capacity to breed at a month or two of age. Within this brief period of time, one female rat can create up to seven litters annually, each containing six to 22 young.
Wild rats are aggressive, active, and flexible; nevertheless they’ve been domesticated as far back as the 17th century. The perceptions of rodents are highly complex, and their ability to climb, jump, burrow and gnaw gains them entrance to areas inaccessible to other mammals. There are two main kinds of rats, the black or roof rat and the Norway or brown rat. They differ in size, habits, food preferences and areas. Black rats are 8 inches long and have a tail longer than its body and brown rats are 10 inches long and have a tail shorter than its body.
Like the other rodents, they’re socially unacceptable mammals due to the problems they have caused mankind throughout history. They spread diseases, damage structures and contaminate food and feed. They carry diseases potentially fatal to man, such as Weil’s disease, plague, salmonella food poisoning and toxoplasmosis. They can cause serious structural damage to buildings, pipe work and wiring systems by their constant gnawing.