What Do They Look Like?
Norway Rats have brown fur that is scattered with black hairs all around. Furthermore, these rats have a gray-white underside and a long, heavy body. Their muzzle (the projecting part of the face, including the nose and mouth) is blunt. Norway rats have small eyes and ears, and their tails are shorter than the length of their head and body coupled together. Also, they typically grow anywhere from 7″-9 1/2″
What Are Their Habits?
Norway rats are social pests, often building shelters close to one another. This means that where there is one burrow, there are likely others close by. The burrow has at least one entrance hole and a minimum of one emergency exit which is often hidden under grass, debris and other materials.
Norway rats are nocturnal. They characteristically forage at dusk and then again prior to dawn. However, they eat several times each night and during the daytime. These rats will carry the food they find to less busy areas for consumption, or to hoard. Adaptable feeders, Norway rats eat practically anything but show a preference to a favorite menu item for meat, fish and cereal. The Norway rat differs from the eating habits of roof rats, which prefer fruits and vegetables. Dog food is also something they would eat.
Where Can You Find Them?
Norway rats tend to live in fields, farmlands and structures. They frequently burrow in soil near riverbanks, in garbage and woodpiles, under concrete slabs, and along railroad embankments, streams and riverbanks.In addition to this,typically enter homes in the fall when food and water sources become scarce outside. These rodents can fit through a hole the size of a quarter, easily gaining entry into homes to nest. Once inside a home, Norway rats often nest in basements, piles of debris or undisturbed materials. They also enjoy nesting on the ground floor and on the lower floors of buildings, as well as in sewers. Although they prefer settling on lower levels, Norway rats may also occasionally reside in attics, on roofs and other high points.
How Are They Harmful?
Norway rats are dangerous to both people and property. Norway rats can carry and spread many diseases in their urine, feces and saliva including trichinosis and salmonellosis. They can also introduce fleas, ticks, and mites (and the diseases that they carry).
Norway rats have very powerful jaws and sharp front incisors that they use to chew through and damage things like pipes, flooring, electrical wires, and drywall. Norway rats may build burrows under sidewalks, decks, garages, sheds, and foundations causing structural damage. They can also damage personal items like, clothing, furniture, and linens; and will quickly contaminate food and utensils in pantries and kitchens.
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