What do Norway rats look like?

Norway rats, also known as brown rats or sewer rats, are large rodents that typically measure about 16 to 19.5 inches in length from nose to tail. They have robust bodies covered in brown or grayish-brown hair. Their undersides are usually lighter in color. Norway rats have thick, scaly, and nearly hairless tails. 

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When are Norway rats most active?

Very Active
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What do Norway rats eat?

Norway rats are opportunistic feeders. They eat whatever they find, including the waste materials of other animals, especially domesticated animals when necessary. However, their preference is for fruit, nuts, and seeds. They also consume dead animals and bugs for protein. Inside man-made structures, they are drawn to bags of dry dog food, cereal, rice, bread, and other human foods.

What time of day are Norway rats most active?

These rats prefer nighttime activity, but you might catch one at dawn or dusk. Norway rats have eyes that are made for navigating in dim lighting conditions. They also use their other senses, like touch, hearing, and smell, to get around in utter darkness.

Are Norway rats dangerous?

Norway rats, like other rodents, can carry and transmit germs, bacteria, and pathogens that can make people and animals sick. Some of the illnesses they can spread include leptospirosis, hantavirus, rat-bite fever, and salmonellosis. In addition, their saliva, droppings, and dander can cause allergic reactions and worsen asthma.

What problems do Norway rats cause?

Rats have strong teeth, which they use to chew on building materials. They also build nests and leave behind droppings and urine. This can cause damage to wood, insulation, pipes, electrical wiring, and other building materials, leading to fire hazards, water damage, and contamination. Additionally, rats can damage clothing, furniture, and other belongings.

What attracts Norway rats?

Two main attractants for rats are food and hiding places. If your yard has accessible fruit, seeds, nuts, bugs, or garbage, you may have a problem. When Norway. rats enter yards, they look for hiding places or a junk pile to dig a ground burrow underneath. 

How do Norway rats get inside?

These are ground rats. They typically enter structures through entry points near the soil, such as cracks in foundations, gaps around utilities, unprotected ventilation, vulnerabilities in crawl spaces, and deteriorating door frames. 

Where do Norway rats nest?

In nature, a Norway rat is likely to nest in the ground or inside a log. When these rats enter homes, they usually nest inside wall voids and other structural cavities. They also have a preference for hiding places inside garages. 

Do I have Norway rats or roof rats?

If you see one, you can tell which kind it is by its coloration. Norway rats are brown, and roof rats are black. If you don't see them, you must consider how they approach your home. Roof rats typically get onto roofs and enter through high vulnerabilities. Norway rats typically get underneath decks or inside crawl spaces to enter homes. You'll find their excrement where they explore your exterior. You can also look for ground holes as evidence. Roof rats don't typically make these. 

How do I get rid of Norway rats? 

If you have discovered Norway rats in or around your home, consider signing up for Anti-Pest's residential pest control service. Our year-round plan includes regular treatments and protection from over 20 common house-infesting pests, including rats! We also offer commercial pest control services that help business owners and managers protect against rodent infestations. 

How do I prevent a Norway rat infestation?

To discourage Norway rats from infesting, we recommend the following rodent prevention tips:

  • Seal entry points.
  • Install weather-stripping.
  • Reduce clutter in your garage and other storage areas.
  • Haul away yard debris and clutter.
  • Trim shrubs, bushes, and other landscaping.
  • Cut the grass weekly. 
  • Fix broken or damaged vents, screens, siding, and other potential entry points. 
  • Harvest the garden regularly.
  • Pick up fallen fruit and seeds. 
  • Keep exterior trash cans closed and secured.
  • Relocate woodpiles that are touching or too close to the house. 
  • Secure your trash in covered receptacles.
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