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Rats and Mice


Rats are an introduced pest in the UK and they have been well established in the UK for hundreds of years.  There are two main type of rats treated on a regular basis in the UK, the most common of which is the Norwegian Pack Rat, also known as the Brown Rat or Sewer Rat.  The other rat common to the UK is the Black rat or Ship rat.



Brown Rat: Rattus norvegicus

Colour: Although they are commonly known as a brown rat, they can be any colour from black to white which can make accurate identification of the type of rat difficult by colour alone

Tail length: Always three quarters the length of the body, thick at the base and tapered to the tip

Identification: Small ears, thick muscular body, blunt nose.

Habitat: Close proximity to humans and will adapt their environment to suit their requirements.  This may include enlarging entry points, dragging in nesting materials etc.

Feeding habits: Omnivores and will feed on anything from grains to meat and even each other

Litter size: Average 8 babies per litter and can have up to six litters a year.


Black Rat: Rattus rattus

Colour: Black to dark grey

Tail length: Longer than the head and body combined, slender with a unified thickness nearly all the way to the tip

Identification: Slender body, large ears, pointed nose (almost cute in appearance!)

Habitat: Rarely seen in the open.  Found primarily in around docks and dockyards. Readily climbs.

Feeding habits: Prefer to feed on moist fruits and insects.  They will take grains although this is not their preferred food.

Litter size: Average ten babies per litter and can have up to six litters a year depending on food availability.


Mice have become well established in all areas of the UK.  Like rats, they will openly look out for humans and human dwellings (houses etc.) to feed on discarded food products.

House Mouse: Mus domesticus

Colour: Can range from very light, almost white, through to jet black

Tail length: Longer than the head and body combined

Identification: Very long tail, small feet, large ears for the size of the head, large eyes for the size of the head

Habitat: Will live in any location including burrows, inside buildings, cavity walls, furniture, lofts, machinery etc.

Feeding habits: Although mice only consume approximately three grams (the size of a large peanut) per day, they damage considerable amounts of food products to obtain this small quantity of food

Litter size: Average sixteen babies per litter and can have more than eight litters a year depending on food sources available.


Reasons for Control:

The reasons for controlling rats and mice are:

    * Risk of disease: Rats carry salmonella and other food poisoning organisms, trichinoisi, rat bite fever, typhus, Lyme’s disease and other health diseases with the main one being Weil’s disease (also known as leptospirosis).  Black rats introduced the Black Death or Plague to the UK.
    * Damage: Rats and mice cost the economy millions of pound per year by damaging and contaminating both food products and also non-edible items including soft furnishings including and building materials etc.
    * Financial: In the case of food vendors or food manufacturers, loss of earnings and reputation is also an important factor in the control of pests.  Fines can be issued by Local Authorities and Courts if failure to identify and treat pests are carried out promptly.


Methods of Control:

Chemical: Baits, gels, dusts, rodenticides etc.

Physical: Traps, sticky boards, break back traps etc.


Please contact us for more assistance.
Areas we cover
 Pests we cover:            

    Bed bugs

    Rats & Mice
    Silverfish & Beetles
Stored Product Insects
    Textile Pests
    Wasps & Hornets
Contact Details
We are members of :

  NPTA                    BASC                           CRRU
National Pest Technicians Association        British Association for Shooting & Conservation                Think Wildlife (CRRU)