There are 2 main types of rat commonly found in the UK, the black and the brown rat. The colour of the rat is not necessarily helpful in determining the species of rat as both can be shades of brown. Adult rats are approximately 30-45 cms long including the tail. Rats spoil foodstuffs, leave trails of urine in their wake and spread diseases capable of infecting humans. In addition they can cause widespread structural damage, through their gnawing habits, in both domestic and commercial settings.


Rats are prolific breeders, becoming capable of reproducing from 2 months of age, they can have litters up to 6 times a year producing 8 or more young at a time. Rats live in outside burrows but do visit homes in search of food. Mainly nocturnal their numbers can increase significantly before they are detected but their tell-tale droppings can be an early sign. 


It is possible to deal with small numbers of rats through trapping or bait traps. With major or persistent infestations disposal can be problematic and hence are best left to a trained pest control technician.