The black rat

Latin: Rattus rattus.

This rat came to Europe in the early Middle Ages and raged fiercely until the 1700s where it was driven away by the brown rat. It was the black rat, or rather the fleas of the black rat, that caused the plague epidemics which under the name “the Black Death” depopulated much of Europe in the Middle Ages.

In the Nordic countries, the black rat is undoubtedly completely gone, but it is occasionally imported by ships from overseas. The black rat lives in higher temperatures than the brown rat, so it does not appear in fields in northern Europe. The few black rats found in Northern Europe are found mainly in warehouses at ports.