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Rats FAQ

What is the difference between a rat and a shrew?

A shrew is differentiated from a rat by its pointed snout, its shorter thicker tail, and smaller eyes. A shrew is beneficial to its local ecosystem as it eats bugs and insects that otherwise are harmful to plants.

How many species of rats are there?

According to The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) and the Live Science, it is recorded that there are 60 species of rats in the world. However, the common rat species include the roof rat, brown rat and house mouse.

How do I stop rats coming into my house?

Keep your house clean of any unkempt food and free from clutter where rats can live and start a nest. Proof your home by blocking entries and sealing off cracks and crevices. Finally, deploy line of defense at the exterior of your home as a protective barrier.

How do you stop a rat infestation?

Store-bought rat traps are often helpful to keep their population down, but it's not enough if it's a large-scale infestation especially rats are smart and challenging to eradicate. Call up your local pest control services to help you get rid of rats.

How do I get rid of rats in Singapore?

Almost every premise is not safe from a rat infestation. To get rid of rats you should engage professional rodent and pest control services that utilises digital rat traps and good quality baits and gels.

To prevent a rat infestation, make sure your space is clear of clutter, keep your trash and garbage covered and dispose of it regularly, don't let soil plates pile up on your sink, and keep your food in air-tight containers.

What are rats afraid of?

Rats are afraid of strong and pungent smell including spices, condiments and essential oil and herbs, including peppermint, pepper, onion and vinegar.

Dealing with rat infestations?

A rat problem especially if you are in the Food & Beverage business, is a key risk area that has to be properly managed for you to stay in operations safely.

Rentokil pest experts beside offering our solutions with baiting station and glue boards, a new innovation with a digitalised rat trap is now designed for an intensive rat control.

Besides having these solutions in place, our team of experts is able to advice pest proofing tips to keep rats out of your premise along with diligent monitoring, which is crucial for an effective rat control.

There are three main types of rats that cause concern in Singapore. The Brown Rat (sewer rat), the Black Rat (roof rat) and the House Mouse are commonly found in both private homes and business property.

Black Rat

Black Rat (roof rat)

(Rattus rattus)

Black rats can be found in coastal towns and in many urban environments across Singapore.


  • The black rat is between 16–24cm in length, with a tail longer than the head and body.
  • It grows to between 150–200g in weight.
  • They have a pointed nose, large ears and a slender body.

Life Cycle

  • Black rats produce 5–10 young per litter, and have between 3–6 litters a year.
  • The gestation period is about 3 weeks.
  • It only takes between 12–16 weeks from birth for them to reach sexual maturity.


  • They are incredibly agile and very good climbers.
  • Their preferred food is moist fruits. Black Rats will eat around 15g of food a day and drink 15ml.
Brown Rat

Brown Rat

(Rattus norvegicus)

Brown rats usually prefer ground living and burrowing, but sometimes they can be known to climb.


  • The brown rat is up to 40 cm in length, with a tail shorter than the head and body.
  • It grows up to between 350–500g in weight.
  • It has a blunt nose, small ears and a thicker body when compared to the Black Rat (Rattus rattus).

Life Cycle

  • Rats have 7–8 young per litter, and between 3–6 litters a year.
  • The gestation period is about 3 weeks.
  • It only takes 10–12 weeks from birth to reach sexual maturity.


  • Preferred food is cereals, although they are omnivorous.
  • They will eat around 30g of food a day and drink 60ml.
House Mouse

House Mouse

(Mus musculus)

Where is house mouse found? Capable of surviving nearly any environment - small size, high adaptability + needs extremely small amount of food and space.


  • 7 – 9.5cm in length, with a tail around the same length.
  • 12 – 30g in weight.
  • Their relatively small feet & head and large eyes & ears distinguish them from a young brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)

Life Cycle

  • 4 – 16 young per litter; 7 – 8 litters a year.
  • Gestation period of about 3 weeks.
  • 8 – 12 weeks from birth to sexual maturity


  • Usually ground living and burrowing, but often climbs.
  • Preferred food is cereals.
  • Will eat around 3g of food a day and can survive without any additional water. They will drink up to 3ml a day if their diet is particularly dry.

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