Norway Rat Identification & Prevention

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Frequently Asked Questions About Norway Rats

What are Norway rats?

The Norway rat, or brown rat, is a species of rodent that has adapted to living near people. They are opportunistic scavengers and have learned that where people live and spend time, they will have multiple food sources to utilize. 

The Norway rat has shaggy or unkempt-looking gray to brown fur speckled with black hairs covering their large, dense body. Their ears and tails lack fur. Lighter-colored fur usually covers the underside of the Norway rat’s body. The thick, scaly tail of the Norway rat is generally shorter than the body; the total length of these rodents (body and tail) is usually around 16 inches. Males are typically larger than females. 

To learn more about Norway rats and how to control rodents in Plymouth, keep reading. The more you understand these pests, the easier it will be to maintain a rat-free property.

rat in home

Are Norway rats dangerous?

Like other rodents that have come to live near people, Norway rats pose significant dangers to people, our pets, and our structures. 

Some of the most common diseases rats carry include:

  • Rat-bite fever

  • Salmonellosis

  • Trichinosis

  • Leptospirosis

  • Hantavirus

In addition to spreading diseases, rats carry parasites like fleas and ticks on their bodies. These parasites also spread diseases that make people and our pets ill.

When Norway rats get into our homes, in addition to health risks, they cause many other problems. These rats are very destructive; they use their sharp front incisors and powerful jaws to gnaw through drywall, flooring, furniture, wires, cables, plumbing pipes, and more. They will contaminate insulation, counters, and stored food with their saliva, urine, and excrement.

While Norway rats may benefit from living with people, we do not benefit from sharing our properties with these rodents.

Why do I have a Norway rat problem?

Norway rats are common household pests because our properties offer them multiple benefits. Living near people makes their lives easier. Our houses, garages, sheds, and yard clutter provide them with shelter and safe places to nest and raise their young. Things like trash cans, compost piles, gardens, bird feeders, and outdoor eating areas supply them with a buffet of food options. Norway rats can stay hydrated by drinking from dripping hoses, outdoor faucets, and air conditioners.

Where will I find Norway rats?

Norway rats originated from northern China and were distributed to other parts of the world through international trade in the 1800s. In the Plymouth area, you will most likely find Norway rats living outside around rivers, streams, railroads, garbage piles, piers, and railroad tracks. 

Norway rats are burrowing pests and like to stay at ground level. When they find their way to our backyards, they usually take up residence under foundations, concrete slabs, dense vegetation, firewood piles, and construction or yard debris. 

Once comfortable in your outdoor spaces, these shy, quiet creatures may move indoors to escape predators or harsh weather or because it offers a safe place to nest. These rodents will remain at ground-level and reside in wall voids, basements, crawl spaces, and utility rooms. Storage boxes and closets are also common hiding places for these rats.

How do I get rid of Norway rats?

The best way to get rid of rats is to seek professional rodent control services. Every day Norway rats are living in or around your home is a day they are causing damage and putting you and your family’s health at risk. At Combat Pest Control, we will provide you with the effective services necessary to remove Norway rats from your property and work closely with you to prevent them from returning. To learn more about our customized pest and rodent control solutions, please reach out to us today.

How can I prevent Norway rats in the future?

Prevent problems with Norway rats in your home with the help of the following helpful tips:

  • Remove unnecessary piles of debris and clutter from your yard.

  • Store firewood piles up off the ground and away from your home’s exterior. 

  • Cut back shrubbery and bushes from your home’s exterior that can offer them hiding spots.

  • Regularly empty outdoor trash cans and make sure they have tight-fitting lids.

  • Keep outdoor eating areas free of food debris.

  • Pick up uneaten pet food.

  • Repair holes or gaps in your home’s exterior.

  • Properly seal your home’s crawl spaces.

In addition to the above rat prevention tips, scheduling professional pest control services is the most effective way to control and prevent problems with Norway rats. For the most comprehensive rat control in Plymouth, call us today.

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