What Type of Rats Do You Get in Brisbane?October 7, 2018
It seems like rats have been in the media spotlight of late, with Sydney being overrun, and Brisbane being on the verge of an invasion. What is going on? Where are they coming from and what are they doing? Who knows! Definitely not me, but what I can tell you about is the type of vermin we are dealing with. In this post, we will take a look at the type of rats that you will find in the greater Brisbane region.
Common Rat (Rattus Norvegicus)
This little rodent has a tonne of aliases such as common rat, street rat, sewer rat, Hanover rat, Norway rat, Norwegian rat, Parisian rat or wharf rat and is common all around the globe. The Rattus Norvegicus has been said to have originated in China and has now spread to almost everywhere across the globe, except for super cold climates. Therefore, it’s a clever little fella!
They can grow up 28cm long and weigh up to 500grams. They tend to co-exist with humans and live pretty much everywhere that we do. Their versatility and adaption to conditions deem them one of the most successful mammals in existence alongside humans. Hmm… there seems to be some correlation there!
The Rattus Norvegicus has also been selectively bred with other types to produce lab rats, which humans use for biological testing and also the cute and cuddly household pet that cuts laps in a hamster wheel. Well, I guess it would be a rat wheel.
These furry little delights use a range of communication techniques such as ultrasonic chirping to communicate danger in response to predatory attacks. They also use these ultrasonic communications to emote laughter! I know this sounds weird but at some point, a scientist in a white coat was in lab tickling rats and measuring their response with an ultrasonic detector.
Rats are omnivores and will eat almost anything they can forage, although their diet mainly consists of cereals. Martin Schein, the founder of the Animal Behaviour Society obviously has way too much time on his hands and found that these rats love macaroni and cheese and scrambled eggs. Weird. He also found out their least favourite food was beetroot. Who was funding this guy exactly?
The Rattus Norvegicus has a maximum lifespan of three years. In that time, a female rat can give birth to 15 litters of up to fourteen rats per litter, although seven is more common. Apparently, in one year, a rat population can grow from 2 to 15000. That’s a lot of rats.
They live in large groups and there is a pecking order. If you are unlucky enough to be at the bottom of the ladder, you’re in trouble when all the food runs out. To establish the hierarchy, rats often play fight to see who’s the big rat on campus. The rat higher up gets first priority and if you can’t wrestle like a champ you will starve. When all is going well, the common rats sleep in burrows together and even groom each other. Cute.
They live in burrows together and that is where they stash their food supplies they steal from your house. They also sleep in said burrows together in a fluffy game of stacks on.
The Black Rat (Rattus Rattus)
Well, the black rat doesn’t seem nearly as fun as the other guys and have been responsible for some serious plagues in Britain. The black rat is smaller than the common rat and weighs in at a maximum of 230 grams and can grow up to 18cm meters long. Despite its name, the black rat can be a variety of colours such as brown and grey.
The black rat originated in India and South East Asia before making its way to England, then eventually Australia – most likely hitching a lift on one of the boats. Black rats love the warmer climates so Brisbane is the ideal place for these little suckers to make a home.
The dangerous thing about these little guys is that they have the ability to carry bacteria and virus in their blood and it won’t affect them at all. But it will affect those who come into contact with them. They carry diseases such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Corynebacterium kutsheri, Bacillus piliformis, Pasteurella pneumotropica, and Streptobacillus moniliformis – just to name a few.
These little guys are very adaptable and have been known to live in the ground and up trees. They have been known to eat almost anything, although when presented with a wide variety of food will only eat a select few – a bit like you at Sizzler vs whatever is leftover in the pantry when you can’t be bothered leaving the house. These rats have a history of causing ecological destruction wherever they have been introduced and should be stopped in their tracks.
So now you know a little bit about the rats in Brisbane. Some nicer than others. If you feel you have a rat problem them the best thing to do is call your local pest controller and discuss options and methods to get rid of them in a safe manner. Don’t put it off, take action as soon as possible