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Rats
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RATS

Large rodent which can measure up to 40cm in length including tail. Fur colour usually dull grey but can vary. Rats can be found all over the UK, they are common place in cities like London.

Biology

Rats are omnivorous and whilst they generally feed on cereals and grains, if hungry they can take small chicks and eggs. Rats are neophobic - very wary of anything new and they can take 4 to 5 days before they accept a new object into their environment. They prefer small enclosed spaces and get around by smell and touch. They like to be up against something as they travel, like a wall or pipe. Contrary to popular belief regarding rats being dirty they are in fact very clean animals and spend up to 20% of their time grooming. They are however, carriers of a number of diseases, the most publicised of which is Weils disease which can be fatal to humans. Rats take between 2 to 3 months to reach sexual maturity. They can have up to 7 litters per year with an average litter size of about 8.

Control

In contrast to mice, rats tend to have only a few feeding sites and so the key to successful control is to ensure there is a good quantity of bait available (sub-lethal doses can effect the level of control which will be achieved longer-term). Whole grain bait is the most commonly used and active ingredients such as Difenacoum and Bromadialone can be used indoors and out. Rat burrows can be baited directly if safe to do so and trapping and use of gassing compounds such as Aluminium Phosphide (professionally trained operators only) can be considered.

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