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Restricted in modern times in the UK to only a few areas. When found in buildings, the Black rat is most often sighted on roofs. Pipes, cables and beams offer means of distribution to this agile mammal which can jump over a meter in height from standing start.


Excellent senses of touch, taste, smell and hearing. Poor vision. Agile, and active climber. Omnivorous, with a preference for fruit, nuts, grains and vegetables. Usually eats 25 - 28g per day. Historically associated with shipping, this species is decreasingly prominent in the UK.

Pest Status

Greatly decreased in western Europe in modern times. This is most likely due to competition from increasing populations of R. norvegicus which has been increasing it's distribution over the same period.


Usually involves use of well protected anticoagulant bait. Other means may be used, such as acute baits, or physical control methods. Monitoring is also critical for successful management of common rat populations.


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