Black Rat

The black rat, Rattus rattus, is one of the most serious household rodent pests.

It is also known as roof rat. It has a black or dark brown body with a pale, sometimes white underside. The black rats are omnivorous with a preference for fruit and vegetables.

The black rat can be a threat to human health. This species has been identified as a potential carrier of diseases that can affect humans.

Black Rat
  • The black rat’s body is about 8cm in length. The upper body colouring is brown, black or charcoal grey, with a cream or white underbelly. The tail is scaly and long relative to its body size. A mature female rat can give birth to about 20 young in a year (4-6 at a time). Young are born in nests made from paper, rubbish, plastics, grass or other material. They become completely independent and able to reproduce after three months.
  • Black rats are very good swimmers and climbers, meaning they can access most areas to feed, shelter and breed. Usually they move about 50m from their nest site. They will climb trees to steal eggs out of birds’ nests or to eat fruit. They are known to cause trouble by gnawing at pipes and electrical cords. Rats have very poor vision, relying on their keen sense of smell, acute hearing and their whiskers and sense of touch. They spend time around water bodies and beaches and are the most commonly seen rodent in public parks and beaches.


Russell IPM offers a range of traps to combat the black rat. Out systems include rat boards, rat and mouse lure, and the rat bait station Rambox. Our products are safe, effective and easy to use. The rat and mouse lure are a food grade mouse attractant and can be used with snap traps. Our rat and mouse lure are non-toxic and safe.

The Xlure Rat and Mouse Lure is the simple way to control your rat problem in the home and garden. The traditional snap trap is supplied with a sachet of all food grade lure which has been proven to be highly attractive against mice. Simply open the lure and place enough bait to fill the bait cup and place where rodent activity is visible. Each sachet contains enough for approximately 3 doses.

Russell IPM also manufactures and supplies book style glue boards in two sizes for rat and mouse. These glue boards are designed for the user as a last resort. The rat and mouse boards are effective and easy to apply and take away.

Nature of Damage

Black rats gnaw, eat stored food, and transmit disease by droppings and urine, bites, and the fleas and mites in their fur. Black rats eat almost anything, but they prefer fruit, vegetables and cereal products. They often get their water from their food. They eat a lot at one time, and will return to their food source often. Black rats are omnivorous.

The black rat can be a threat to human health. This species has been identified as a potential carrier of diseases that can affect humans, such as Hantaan virus (Haemorrhagic fever), Murine typhus (Rickettsia typhus), Leptospirosis, Rat bite fever (Spirillium minor) and the Plague (Yersinia pestis).