Brown Rats: Identification, Behavior, and Extermination Techniques

Brown rats, scientifically known as Rattus norvegicus, are a common species of rat found worldwide, including the United States. Understanding their behavior and implementing effective control measures is crucial for managing brown rat infestations. Here’s a comprehensive guide to brown rats:

Brown Rat


Brown rats, also known as Norway rats, are relatively large rodents with a typical body length of 7 to 10 inches and a tail length of 6 to 8 inches. They have robust bodies with brown or grayish-brown fur, small ears, and blunt snouts. Their tails are shorter than their bodies and are scaly in texture.


Brown rats are primarily nocturnal and have excellent swimming and climbing abilities. They are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of food sources, including grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, and garbage. Brown rats are intelligent and adaptable, allowing them to thrive in various environments. They construct extensive burrow systems with multiple entrances, often located near a food source.


Brown rats can be found in both urban and rural areas. They establish nests in a range of locations, including sewers, basements, attics, crawlspaces, and outdoor spaces with suitable shelter. Brown rats reproduce rapidly, with a female capable of producing up to 8 litters per year, each containing 6 to 12 pups. Their population can quickly grow if not controlled.

Extermination Techniques

Effectively managing brown rat infestations requires a combination of preventative measures and targeted extermination techniques. Some common methods include:

  1. Exclusion: Seal all potential entry points, such as cracks, gaps, and openings, to prevent rats from accessing your property.
  2. Trapping: Set up snap traps or live traps baited with food to capture and remove brown rats. Place the traps in areas where rat activity is observed.
  3. Baiting: Use rodenticide baits formulated specifically for rats, placing them in secure bait stations to minimize the risk to non-target animals. It’s important to handle and use rodenticides responsibly and in accordance with local regulations.


While some DIY methods may help in controlling small rat populations, it is often best to seek professional assistance for effective and long-lasting results. Pest control experts have the knowledge, experience, and access to specialized tools and techniques to handle brown rat infestations safely and efficiently.

If you suspect a brown rat infestation in your property or require professional guidance on brown rat management, contact our rat control experts at Arete Pest Control. We have the expertise and effective solutions to eradicate brown rats and prevent future infestations.


Remember, swift action is crucial when dealing with brown rats. Contact us today to reclaim control over your property and ensure the safety and well-being of rats!