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What they look like

Britain has two kinds of rat:

  • The adult common rat has brown fur on its back and is grey underneath. The tail is shorter than its head and body.
  • The ship rat is far less common. It has black or brown fur with large almost hairless ears. Its tail is longer than the head and body.

How they may affect you

Rats are a major hazard to health. They spread many forms of disease such as leptospirosis, salmonella food poisoning, typhus, trichinosis, tapeworms and Weil's disease, which can be fatal to humans. We aim to treat rats the same or next working day so please report a rat as soon as possible.

Report a rat

To report a rat, please email

Last updated: 2 November 2017