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Habitat of a Brown Rat

If the mere sight of a brown rat scurrying about makes you feel a little nervous, you're not alone. Nevertheless, these rodents are prevalent in many parts of the world and in many diverse kinds of habitats, too. Brown rats have a tendency to live in close proximity to humans.

Close to Human Beings

Brown rats, also called Norway rats, are extremely skilled at adapting to new environments. If a brown rat is capable of finding shelter and regular sustenance somewhere, he will use it to his advantage. In particular, the rodents have a strong inclination to reside close to people, where they can easily obtain food. You'll often find them near grocery stores or convenience stores that sell food, in warehouses, by trash dumpsters, in landfills, in sewers, and in the dark corners and basements of commercial building structures. They are especially common in buildings and homes that are empty or abandoned.

Other Common Brown Rat Habitats

Brown rats do not, however, live exclusively near human beings in urban or suburban regions. You can also find the rodents by farms, particularly those where they can find grain to eat. They are fixtures within hedgerows, streams, woodlands and fields that have ample crops. The rats establish nests and frequently reside below bushes. They are expert swimmers and because of that, you will frequently see them in coastal regions. Brown rats, for the most part, have no limits as to where they will go or stay.

Locations Throughout the World

Although brown rats originated in China, they now live all over the world and are very common. The one place they don't inhabit, however, are the polar areas. Otherwise, brown rats can get by in the vast majority of climates, whether very cold, very hot or somewhere in between. These little guys are big on survival.


Brown rats often burrow and will dig out tunnels for shelter purposes. These tunnels frequently exist right below random items such as boards. Brown rats nest inside of these burrows and also use them as places to hide.