Black rat

The black rat is found throughout Australia, most often seen in urban environments. 

They prefer to live in roofs, cavity walls, trees, scrapes or burrows around farms.

The black rat is found in many locations across the Northern Territory (NT), from the Top End through the Victoria River District, Barkly and Gulf regions to Central Australia. 

It has spread across Australia as it has a diverse diet and breeds well. 


Black rats prey on bird eggs and may be responsible for the decline in numbers of many birds. 

They also prey on birds, invertebrates and lizards, as well as consuming seeds that would otherwise be eaten by native animals.


If you have a problem with black rats, you can try any of the following control methods:

  • remove access to all food
  • dispose garbage away from your house
  • remove animal or pet food that rats can access
  • rat-proof any food storage areas or containers
  • if you have a farm with rodent problems, encourage birds of prey and snakes to live and breed on your property.

Last updated: 17 August 2015

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