Brown Rat

Brown rats, Rattus norvegicus
Brown Rat
  • The common brown rat is usually around 20 to 27cm long and its weight is around 100 to 500g. It is usually a brownish grey on the back and grey underneath, but colour varies.
  • Rats have a single pair of upper and lower incisor teeth, which are continuously growing, which explains why they cause so much damage as they have to gnaw to prevent these incisors from growing too long which prevents them from eating. Sexual maturity is reached within 2-5 months.
  • Brown rat€™s teeth grow continually, gnawing is a necessary behaviour. Almost any kind of material may be gnawed i.e. electrical cable, water pipes. Rats burrow into grassy banks, underneath sheds and if given access can exploit cavities in walls and roof spaces of buildings, which they use for harbourage, to store food and often nest.
  • The brown rat’s success lies in its extraordinary ability to reproduce, with a pair multiplying to 200 rats in just one year.
  • Rats prefer to live close to sources of both food and water. Rats are also good climbers and can climb vertical walls if the surface is sufficiently rough. They can also climb along fences and up bird tables to access food. Rats are good swimmers and are often found near rivers and also in sewers.


Russell IPM offers a range of traps to combat the brown rat. Out systems include rat boards, rat and mouse lure. 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

  • Along with serious viruses and parasitic worms, rats often carry diseases such as Salmonella, Weil’€™s disease, rat bite fever, Cryptosporidiosis, viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF), Q fever and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. In the United Kingdom, brown rats are an important reservoir for Coxiella burnetii, the bacteria that cause Q fever, with seroprevalence for the bacteria found to be as high as 53% in some wild populations.
  • Rats can damage property by burrowing through concrete, lead and aluminium, often resulting in expensive damage and undermining foundations. They continually gnaw to maintain their sharp hard incisor teeth, often causing fires or floods by attacking electricity cables and damaging water pipes.
  • Although brown rat prefers to live outside, their ability to squeeze through small openings makes it difficult to keep rats out of buildings. They often follow gas and water ducts into a property and live inside cavity walls and roof spaces