Popularly known as a ship rat and house rat, the Black Rat is a rodent animal with a long tail and a black skin color, although they can also be varying shades of brown. It is a common pest found on farms. The species originated in Asia and they spread east to the Europe continent after the first century. The adult Black Rat has a length from 12.75 to 18.25 cm. They can weigh up to 340 g. In the 1920s, England was packed with rats that had black fur.
What do Black Rats Eat?
Black rats are omnivores because they can eat almost anything from vegetables to vertebrates. They don’t have any specific food that becomes a favorite because they are simply generalists. Just like a squirrel, they love nuts and fruits as well. On a daily basis, they can eat and drink more than a small animal does on average. Farmers are often threatened by their presence because these rats eat crops too. Coconuts, sugar cane and grains are among the agriculture crops they feed on.
Black Rat Habitat
India has the most widespread presence of this species, followed by Egypt. They typically prefer to live in warmer or tropical areas.
They can grow large and aggressive because they prefer to locate their habitats in the woods and they need to be able to defend themselves from natural predators. They have been known to make their nests in trees and on the ground. Now the rat species is moving more to human structures like commercial buildings, a brick roof of a house, barns and warehouses. Black rats are weather resistant and they don’t get easily affected by extreme changes in climate.
The population of this species has grown incredibly. In India, the population always explodes whenever it’s time for harvesting fruits and plants. This is like a phenomenon in the country.
How did Black Rats arrive in Australia?
There is not much evidence about the black rats’ arrival in Australia, but it can be traced to the first ships that arrived to the continent. The spread of sea transportation in the world allowed rats to easily migrate to Australia and the other continents.
The black rat is one of the most widespread animal species in the world. Its population can increase very quickly, and they are particularly a concern to farmers because they can devastate crops in a quick manner.
Go back to the How to Get Rid of Rats page or email us if you have any other questions about Biology of Black Rat
We are the Pest Education Network, a non-profit organization that focuses on wildlife and pest removal education. Our approach utilizes Integrated Pest Management, a strategy advocating prevention and humane methods.