Norway Rat

Category:

Actual Size: 16” long including the tail

Characteristics: Robust bodies. Typically grayish-brown can be reddish-brown to blackish.

Habitat: Known to create 6.5 feet long burrows along property lines and gardens. Will nest in basements and crawl spaces of homes.

Habits: 

  • Sometimes called a “brown rat” or “sewer rat”.
  • Tails are hairy and shorter than their head and body combined.
  • Prefer to live in underground burrows, basements, and tunnels.

Norway Rats in Bristol

Norway rats are one of the most dangerous pests. These rats are stocky, heavy-bodied rats that are larger and more aggressive than their cousin the roof rat or black rat. Found throughout the United States, Norway rats are commensal rodents, living near and dependent on the human habitat for survival. Norway rats will eat almost anything but prefer cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts, and some fruits. Like most rodents, Norway rats are most active an hour after sunset and just before dawn. The gnawing activity of Norway rats can cause considerable damage to homes, gardens, and structures. Norway rats are carriers of serious diseases, including jaundice, rat-bite fever, and salmonella.

Norway Rat Habitat

Norway rats like to nest and hide in burrows. They are known to reuse burrows left behind by previous rodents or small animals, but they also can dig their own.The burrows they construct themselves are 2 to 3 inches in diameter and up to 6.5 feet in length. Burrows are constructed outdoors beside foundations and gardens. Norway rats are nocturnal and will enter homes at night in search of food, returning back to their burrow. If nests are found inside homes, they are typically in basements and crawl spaces. If a population is large, Norway rats will nest in upper areas of a home or structure.

Norway Rat Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Norway rats are known for their destructive behaviors. They can damage foundations, slabs, garden crops, and plants as they burrow and gnaw to find food and shelter. Inside homes, Norway rats may cause extensive damage when nesting in walls and attics. Accounts of rodents starting fires through the gnawing of electrical wires have been widely reported. Chewed, exposed wires inside walls can spark, causing interior walls to catch fire. When foraging for food, these rats consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, and livestock. Salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat-bite fever are among the dozens of diseases spread by Norway rats.

If you have a Norway rat infestation in your Bristol property, always contact a licensed rodent control company.