The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is known by more names. The sewer rat, the city rat or the Norwegian rat. Almost every country in the world has a version of the brown rat. The brown rat originally comes from Asia and arrived in Europe early with shipping. Nowadays, the brown rat can be found everywhere in the Netherlands.
The brown rat is known for the nuisance it causes. Especially when waste is not cleaned up, put away or processed properly, the brown rat can live well. It makes a big difference whether sewers have been modernized or not. As is still not the case in old cities, for example. Agriculture suffers greatly from these animals, because they cause gnawing damage and gnaw and contaminate food supplies.
As the black rat is known as a carrier of the plague in the Middle Ages. Is the brown rat a disease-carrying animal? A few examples of diseases that this rat can carry (and transmit) are. Weil’s disease, the hantavirus, tularemia, rat bite fever, but also the plague. Although the plague no longer occurs in Europe. Is this still sometimes the case in some parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. With better hygiene in humans, the risk of transmitting these diseases also decreased. Fortunately, the chance of contracting one of these diseases in the Netherlands is minimal.
The difference between the brown and black rat is the smaller eyes, the shorter and thicker state, but also the smaller ears with more hair. The brown rat often has a somewhat lighter underside, while the black rat usually has one color all over the body. What makes it even more confusing is that the black rat is basically black, but can sometimes be brown and the brown rat is sometimes black!
In the Netherlands, the brown rat has adapted very well to the climate and living environment, as a result of which the rat population has expanded considerably.
They are generally omnivores, so the brown rat likes to feed on grain, seeds, snails, insects, eggs and sometimes even young mammals. If there is enough food in the area, the brown rat sometimes even builds up food supplies.
The brown rat is an incredibly intelligent and social animal with great adaptability. The animal even passes on certain traditions and techniques to the next generation and these also differ per area. Brown rats are mammals that can coexist peacefully in large groups, but aggressively chase away strangers.
Brown rats do not have a specific mating season, if sufficient food and good living conditions are available, the rat can reproduce very well. The gestation period of the young is 21 – 23 days and a female can have up to 10 young per litter. In addition, the youngsters are sexually mature after 6 weeks and will then be mated immediately, allowing the rat population to grow explosively.
The life expectancy of a brown rat in the wild is about 1 to a maximum of 3 years and is determined by genes and hereditary factors, just like in humans. A natural enemy of the brown rat is the owl, house cat and martens.
All rats are nocturnal, so they will not be easy to find for humans during the day. The hallmarks of a rat problem are hearing scratching sounds through walls or under floorboards. You will also most likely find droppings that are about 10 – 20 mm in size.
The brown rats also leave behind a certain smell in which you may recognize ammonia and which emerges when you open closed spaces, such as a crawl hatch or hatch. As with other rodents, there will also be gnawing damage to wood, plastic and electrical wiring, the latter being very risky because it can cause a short circuit / fire in your home or outbuildings.
When the brown rats have found food supplies, they will gnaw through the packaging to get to it. This food is then contaminated and must be thrown away. Given the dangerous diseases that the rats can carry, Protect Pest Control advises not to take any risks with this.
More concrete indications are finding several burrows in the ground, nests or young rats, so that you know for sure that you have a pest that is difficult to combat yourself. In order to prevent as much damage as possible, we advise you to always contact Protect Pest Control in this case.
Unlike the black rat, the brown rat prefers to settle in a moist environment with an average temperature. The brown rat does not shy away from humans and is therefore often found in cellars, crawl spaces, sheds or stables. You can also often find brown rats in the vicinity of container sites, wood storage areas or near ditches and puddles. It does not matter to a brown rat whether the water is polluted, such as sewage, they can survive in it.
Brown rats do not choose exclusively inhabited areas to stay, but can survive wherever there are food and water sources if necessary. The brown rat is good at digging burrows and tunnel systems. As an excellent swimmer, the brown can easily bridge ditches or lakes. In addition, the brown rat, just like the black rat, is a good jumper. The brown rat can jump as high as 50 cm and more than a meter.
If you suffer from brown rats in your home, storage or attic, Protect Pest Control advises you not to wait long before contacting them.
Brown rats can be very aggressive and are notorious carriers of disease. In addition, they cause a lot of gnawing damage and reproduce at lightning speed. Do-it-yourself products are of no use in the case of the brown (and black) rat. You definitely need professional pest control. Protect Pest Control has fifteen years of experience in combating brown rats in your house, outbuildings and surroundings.
Protect Pest Control always checks where the brown rats are hiding and where the nests are. We therefore tackle this problem at the source, we give advice on how to influence the environment so that the rats no longer feel at home and there is nothing left to gain. There is always an effective solution against rats, but different means or strategies can be used per situation. We can also help or advise you with prevention and prevention techniques. Contact Protect Pest Control now for a tailor-made solution.
Protect Pest Control can combat the brown rat plague in a very reliable way and help you with control and prevention for the future. Leaving a brown rat infestation untreated is strongly discouraged, because the brown rat infestation can get out of hand and the risks of disease transmission or damage can then no longer be prevented. Protect Pest Control is a professional pest controller and uses safe and successful ways to control a brown rat infestation. Trying to control the infestation yourself is often insufficient, because you are dealing with a very intelligent and aggressive species. They are therefore very difficult to locate and combat if you do not have the right resources and expertise.
Contact Protect Pest Control now to schedule an on-site appointment or for advice and more information.