Biology and Information About Black Rats

The black rat is known by more than a few names, and you may have heard of it being referred to as the house rat, the ship rat, the roof rat, and more. It's technical name is “Rattus Rattus”, and it once started its like in the sub tropics of Asia, before spreading East throughout the Roman era.


The black rat is a small animal, usually measuring less than 8 inches in length, not including the tail. The tail itself can grow to over 6 or 7 inches in length, and it is this that helps it to maneuver itself around in the height of trees and buildings.

The name “black rat" is actually a little misleading. This rat is not usually black at all, but rather more of a dark brown or grey color. It can be different colors in different areas, and some sub-species now have an almost-green tinge to their fur. Generally, the black rat is smaller than the more common brown rat.


An omnivore, the black rat is a rather pesky pest to farmers particularly, with a love for all things agriculturally based. It will eat animal matter too, having a penchant for things such as vertebrates and invertebrates, and it will also consume fungi, seeds and stems, fruit, leaves, and more. In short, these rodents are scavengers, and they will eat practically anything that you could put out for them. They will even make a meal out of food left out for farmyard animals, such as cow and sheep, and they definitely won't turn their noses up at free dog and cat food if it's left out on the back porch.

According to studies, the black rat can eat as much as 15g of food per day. That's pretty impressive for an animal that only weighs in at around 75g to 200g itself.


The black rat prefers warmer climates, unlike it's brown rat cousin, and they're also slightly more particular about what they eat. This is why the brown rat is the more dominant species over the two, and the brown rat will often push the black rat out.

The black rat, just like the brown rat, is very well adapted to living alongside humans, and you will more than likely find this species living alongside us in human habitats than you will out in the wild. Residential buildings and warehouses are preferred spots, mostly because they are left along and to their own devices for long periods of time usually. They prefer to live up high than down low, and you will often find this particular species of rat in the attic and upper crawl spaces, rather than down in the basement of your building. They are good climbers, and this makes getting higher a lot easier. They will also make homes in trees in the “wild”.


One of the most widespread species of animal in the world, one of the reason behind the black rats popularity, and its spread across the world, is the speed at which it can reproduce. Both the brown rat and the black rat can reproduce at a staggering rate, much quicker than most other animals. They will breed multiple times per year, and they can have between 5 and 15 babies in each litter. These baby rats will become sexually active at only a few weeks of age - 3 to 4, an that's when the cycle will start all over again. That's why you don't want one rat in your home, let alone an infestation of them, and is also why you should be inspecting your home regularly to ensure there are no signs of damage that could be letting them in.

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Rats may be small, but they’re one of the most adaptive and toughest animals in the world! Meet the black rat. They’re also known as roof rat, ship rat, and old English rat.

These long-tailed animals originated from Asia, but they’ve hitched rides from ships in the colonial era and now they can be found all over the world.

From forests to highly urbanized cities - they can live just about anywhere! They are capable of enduring extreme weather conditions. They thrive best in tropical countries with not too hot and not too cold climates.

Black rats are notorious for causing trouble among farmers all over the world. They destroy fields and they eat a wide variety of agricultural produce and seeds. If their population is high in a certain area, they can cause millions of dollars’ worth of damages by wiping out entire farmlands.

If you are dealing with a black rat infestation, it will be helpful to know as much information as you can so you can determine your best course of action. Keep in mind that rats, in general, are already very hard to get rid of. In this case, you are dealing with an even more damaging type of rat. Consider the following information below and from here, create a solid black rat removal plan.

1. Anatomy and Structure

Black rats are medium-sized animals that have large ears and a long tail. The majority of them have a light covering of hair, a thinner skull, and have a slightly different upper molar compared to other rats. An average black rat can weigh between 70-300 grams and can grow to be within 16-22 centimeters with a tail measuring up to 19 centimeters or longer!

2. Behavior

According to studies, they can exhibit numerous harmful behaviors. They can damage natural structures and contaminate food sources. Black rats are considered polygynous. Females are more sexually aggressive than their male counterparts. Being nocturnal creatures, they are out all night looking for food sources and then become inactive during the daytime.

3. Geological Coverage

It is believed that black rats originated from Asia, specifically in India. However, being little adventurers as they are, they’ve spread all around the world by means of ships and other sea vessels.

4. Habitat

The majority of black rats live in coastal areas because this species is known for having been spread by seafarers. They’re adaptive creatures! They can live in cities, farms, and forest lands. As long as there are enough sources of food and water, and there are no dangerous predators around - expect the black rats to thrive.

5. Nutrition

Black rats are omnivorous animals that can eat both fruits and vegetables and also insects, if necessary. These rats can consume up to 15 grams of food and 15 milliliters of water a day.

6. Communication

Black rats are surprisingly vocal animals. Squeaking is the way that they convey their messages to their fellow rats or other animals. They can also create oil smears that are often used for marking their territory. They have a certain way of interacting with their peers by using aggressive intimidation postures and other signals.