Rat Species

In India, the Brown Rat (common rat) and the Black Rat (sewer rat) are commonly found in both private homes and business property.

Black Rat

(Rattus rattus)

Black rats can be found only rarely in India.

Appearance

  • 16 – 24 cm in length, with a tail longer than the head and body.
  • 150 – 200g in weight.
  • Pointed nose, large ears and a slender body when compared to the Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus).

Lifecycle

  • 5 – 10 young per litter; 3 – 6 litters a year.
  • Gestation period of about 3 weeks.
  • 12 – 16 weeks from birth to sexual maturity.

Habits

  • Appearance confined mainly to ports.
  • Often climbs, agile, rarely burrowing and rarely outdoors in India.
  • Preferred food is moist fruits.
  • Will eat around 15g of food a day and drink 15ml.

Brown Rat

(Rattus norvegicus)

Brown rats usually prefer ground living and burrowing, but sometimes they can be known to climb.

Appearance

  • Up to 40 cm in length, with a tail shorter than the head and body.
  • 350 – 500g in weight.
  • Blunt nose, small ears and a thicker body when compared to the Black Rat (Rattus rattus).

Lifecycle

  • 7 – 8 young per litter; 3 – 6 litters a year.
  • Gestation period of about 3 weeks.
  • 10 – 12 weeks from birth to sexual maturity

Habits

  • Usually ground living and burrowing, but sometimes climbs. The only species to occur in sewers in India.
  • Preferred food is cereals.
  • Will eat around 30g of food a day and drink 60ml.