Norway rats

Identification

  • Colour Brown or dark grey
  • Size From 40 cm to 50 cm long, nose to tail
  • Also known as Brown rats, Common rats, Street rats, Sewer rats, Wharf rats.
  • Description Have coarse fur, protruding ears, and long tails. They have small eyes and ears, a blunt, slanted snout, and a stocky, heavy body.

General Facts

Why do I have Norway rats?

Norway rats live on every continent except Antarctica. They like to stay in damp environments at ground level or in burrows, but enter homes looking for warmth, food, and water. These pests squeeze through gaps in walls and foundations, plumbing, attics, and sidings to nest in crawl spaces, basements, or around the perimeter of homes. They are also strong swimmers, and can enter through toilets and drain pipes too. Rats will generally eat anything and are attracted to any food easily available. Norway rats tend to prefer foods high in fat content, like grease and meat.

How worried should I be about Norway rats?

Norway rats can transmit many diseases, like the bubonic plague, typhus, Weil’s disease, toxoplasmosis, and trichinosis, as well as contaminating food with their faeces, saliva, and urine and the parasites like mites and ticks that they carry with them. These pests also cause structural damage, leaving unsightly holes in lawns, undermining building foundations, and gnawing through electrical wiring, causing power outages and electrical fires. They also leave teeth and rub marks on the walls. As a business owner, rats can ruin your reputation, eliciting reactions of horror and disgust from customers, causing structural damage to your property, putting your employees at risk, and harming your ability to operate legally. Norway rats can breed quickly, giving birth to litters of up to 12 offspring up to six times a year – so even with traps in place, an infestation can spiral out of control easily. To truly deal with a Norway rat infestation, professional pest control services are crucial.

How can I prevent Norway rats invading?

Check wiring for chew marks and gnawing, Check the walls for rubbing marks or holes, Look out for small, pellet-like droppings, Keep food preparation areas clean, Clean up spills and crumbs immediately, Remove food sources, including bird feeders, Clean and rotate dumpsters regularly, Make sure trash cans are covered tightly, Trim back vegetation from building exterior, Seal any cracks or holes with caulk or foam, Fix leaky soda or ice machines and HVAC units, Remove any standing water outside, Don't leave doors open for a long time, Install weather strips around doors and windows

Other pests related to Norway rats

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