Black Rats

The Black Rat

The Black Rat Is Rarer Than You Think

Control of Black Rats in Bristol

Bristol docks, as well as other ports and port towns like London, are among the very few places in the country where the black rat is likely to be found. Some estimates suggest that there are just 1500 in the UK! The reason Black rats are so few and far between is believed to be a result of the Brown Rat.

Brown rats are larger than black rats, so quickly gained ground over them to become the dominant rat species, not just in Bristol but most of the world. Black rats are believed to have arrived on our shores from Asia a few thousand years ago and quickly spread through Europe, helped by the maturing land and sea trade routes.

The rapid spread of black rats explains, in part, how the Black Death or Bubonic Plague, spread through Europe killing millions of people. That said, it wasn’t the rat that was the problem – it was the rat’s fleas (ectoparasites) that carried the disease bacteria Yersinia pestis.

Question – What Are The Key Features Of A Black Rat (Rattus rattus)?


Alternative Names: Roof rat, tree rat, ship rat, house rat Diseases Carried Include: Bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis – via the rat flea), Typhus, and Weil’s disease (Leptospirosis) are among the best known.
Life Span: 18 Months
Length (body only): 15 – 20 cm (body only) – up to 45cm including tail
Weight: 200g Colour: black, grey
Age: 15 to 18 months
Sexual Maturity: 8 – 12 weeks
Gestation Period: 3 – 4 weeks
Number of litters: 3 – 5 per year
Number of young: 6 – 8 per litter
Diet: They are Omnivores, feeding on almost anything.
Daily Food: 15g
Daily 15ml Variations in these figures will be likely because nature has a habit of surprising us. Metrics, like size and colour, will always be subject to local variations, based on factors that include food availability, climate, and environment.

Q: What other Ways Can You Help Me?


The Bristol Rat Company has qualified electricians who can inspect and test your entire electrical system for faults and damage caused by rodent activity. We can also update older style electrical systems, reducing fire risks and the dangers of electrical accidents caused by electrocution from wires stripped bare by rats, squirrels, and mice.


Damaged pipes like those leading into underfloor heating systems are a significant hazard to both your property’s structural integrity and of course electrical injury. We have qualified plumbers that will quickly inspect and if required, replace or repair damaged pipes and equipment.

Drain Repairs and Digital Camera Inspections

Very often the rodent problems we see are a result of rats getting into the property through damaged, faulty or poorly designed sewer systems. We also have the facilities and expertise to carry out a full inspection of the sewer system and drainage of the property. We can identify and remediate any problems found, quickly.

Loft Insulation

Insulation is one of the most significant areas of contamination risk, particularly when the worst affected insulation gets deliberately concealed beneath freshly installed insulation.

Rodents nest and live between layers, depositing vast quantities of droppings, urine, and nesting material infested with insect pests. We can undertake a highly effective decontamination process replacing insulation and thoroughly disinfecting the surrounding area with a sophisticated product that kills, viruses, bacteria, and many other types of microorganisms. We also use PestBristol Pest Control, the experts in insect control to handle the fumigation of properties affected by flea, bedbug, and lice infestations.


We have healthcare trained operatives, formally qualified in infection control to decontaminate an infested or contaminated environment. You can rest assured that we understand infection control and how to achieve an intensive clean more than many other organisations.

The owner is head of infection control operations, and with fifteen years of experience in clinical healthcare services helps us stand apart from other providers.


Proofing is where we put in place effective barriers preventing rodents from accessing the property or sensitive areas. We have experience in sealing cavity walls, cellars, attics, storerooms, kitchens, and the list goes on.

CCTV Drain Camera Surveys

CCTV Drain Camera Surveys in Bristol, are vital to understanding what rodents are inside cavity walls, ceilings or even beneath your floors!

In most cases where rodent activity is heard but not seen, drain problems could be the cause. Drain repairs can be difficult and expensive to fix, but we can guide you through this process and provide an in-house drain repair service.

High-Tech camera technology allows us to look into your drains and discover any possible entry points that rats may be using. With over 90% of rat ingress originating in your drains, CCTV gives you a chance to solve rat issues forever!

If you have rodents and don’t want them getting in – then we have the expertise to help.

Don’t wait for further damage to occur – Call Our Bristol Rat Control Team – 0117 369 2709