COMMON, SEWER, NORWAY OR BROWN RAT (RATTUS NORVEGICUS)
The most commonly found of the two rat species. Typically lives outdoors in constructed burrows, but is just as much at home indoors if the opportunity arises.
SHIP, ROOF OR BLACK RAT (RATTUS RATTUS)
Sightings are now rare in the UK, when they do occur, they are usually found in and around port areas.
HOUSE MOUSE (MUS DOMESTICUS)
As the name suggests, the House Mouse is usually found indoors, as it does not compete well with other small external mammals such as wood mice. An adult House Mouse is very similar in appearance to a baby rat. Two characteristics that tell them apart are that the feet and head of baby rats are abnormally large in comparison to its body.
|COMMON RAT||HOUSE MOUSE|
|Sexually Mature||12-16 weeks||5-6 weeks|
|Gestation Period||21-24 days||19-20 days|
|Weaning Period||3-4 weeks||21-23 days|
Given the right conditions (i.e. surplus food and safe surroundings), female common rats can give birth every 28 days and female house mice around every 21 days.
Rats and mice damage our food by consumption and contamination via their faeces, urine and hairs. Legislation in the UK protects consumers from being sold or eating food that is not fit for human consumption. If this occurs the seller may be prosecuted and business reputation will be adversely affected.
Rodent’s incisor teeth are continually growing, this requires them to wear them back by gnawing. Almost any kind of material can be gnawed. Severe damage to properties has been caused when a rodent has gnawed water pipes or electrical wiring causing flooding and fires.
Burrowing by common rats can weaken foundations and destroy the fabric of buildings.
Rat control is vitally important to prevent the spread of diseases such as Weils disease (Leptospiral jaundice), Salmonellosis (food poisoning), Lyme disease (infection to humans via ticks) and Mouse control is also important to prevent Salmonellosis.