The black rat is a long tailed rodent of the genus rattus and goes by the scientific name “Rattus”. It has more common names like house rat or ship rat. Its name does not mean this rat is black in color. As a matter of fact, they are either brown or grey in color. Black rats are generally found in human habitats, like homes and in barn.
• It is a rodent with large ears, and a tail that is near longer than its body.
• A black rat will generally weigh between 110grams and three hundred grams.
• It has four large incisors which are very strong and are used to chew into things.
Breeding and life span
A black rat;
• Generally has a lifespan of slightly over a year in the wild and up to four years when held in captivity.
• Once the rat is pregnant, the gestation period will take about 22 days.
• It will give birth to a litter of about six young ones.
• The young ones feed from the mothers teats.
• In general, a black rat can have up to forty young ones in 12 months.
• They mature from the age of five weeks and can even start mating then.
• Black rats are foraging animals and are omnivorous in nature. They can eat meats, vegetables, and fruits.
• Generally they will eat anything from small animals like lizards and small snakes to the crackers and nuts in your kitchen.
• The black rats have highly developed noses that enable them to detect foods that are dangerous to then. They suffer from Neophobia. This means they are very choosey and will not try out any new foods.
• When a rat eats food that makes it feel nauseous, it will engage in pica which is the act of eating nonfood things like dirt or clay.
Black rats love to live in places where there are human beings.
• You will find them in barns
• In ware houses
• In attics and basements of your homes.
• They will burrow into people’s homes to get shelter and nearer to food sources.
Black rats are common in human habitats and although they are not big carriers of bad diseases, it is always advisable to keep them at a distance as they breed too fast and may destroy your home and contaminate your food.