Rats living in your crawl space or walls? Disappearing pet food? Dead rats or rat dropping in your attic? These may well be signs of a rat infestation. Call your local Critter Control office today at 800 CRITTER for effective rodent cleanup, rat removal and exclusion services. Description Reviled as the most destructive mammal pest, Norway rats compromise the well-being of humans and cause costly damage to manmade structures. They can live as long as two years in the wild and produce as many as 20 young in that span of time. Norway rats are mostly active at night, have poor eyesight, and rely on their other senses to guide them. Actually quite intelligent, Norway rats quickly detect and avoid unfamiliar objects that show up in their chosen environment, such as traps and baits. Their rapid rate of reproduction and elusive nature make them particularly challenging to control. Appearance From the tip of the nose to the end of the tail, Norway rats measure between 13 and 15 inches (33 to 38 cm) in length, with the tail alone accounting for about 7 inches (19 cm) of that total. They are large and robust compared to other species of rats. Norway rat fur is coarse and usually appears brown, though some variation in color exists. They may have scattered black markings on their backs, and the undersides of their bodies typically look gray to yellowish-white. Habitat Native to Asia, Norway rats spread throughout Europe in the mid-1500s and were then brought to North America via ships in the 1770s. Presently, Norway rats can be found in every corner of the world except for Antarctica. Relying heavily on human activity for food and shelter, the pests tend to hold a cosmopolitan distribution. Preferred nesting sites of the Norway rat include cellars, warehouses, grocery stores, slaughterhouses, docks, sewers, barns, silos, beneath concrete slabs, around ponds, and in garbage dumps. Exceptional climbers, jumpers, and swimmers, Norway rats will nest virtually anywhere with nearby sources of food and water. Entry Are Norway rats known to enter homes or yards? Norway rats are omnivores and feast on human foods like cereal, grains, meats, fish, nuts, and fruits. As such, they are known to create nests inside and around homes. Their small size enables them to sneak into homes and sheds through cracks in the foundation and broken window screens. They sometimes gain access to homes through sewer systems or drainage pipes, as well. Furthermore, Norway rats can climb and jump with ease and may enter homes through chimneys. Damage Do Norway rats harm people or property? As Norway rats frequently live in sewers, garbage dumps, and other notoriously unclean sites, they threaten the health of any human who comes into contact with them. They are known carriers of serious diseases that afflict both people and livestock, such as bubonic plague, typhus, leptospirosis, food poisoning, ratbite fever, and infectious jaundice. Additionally, Norway rats are vectors for other pests like lice and fleas. Since they consume many foodstuffs that humans also eat, Norway rats will pilfer stores of food when they infest homes. In addition to being a costly waste of food, this activity often facilitates the spread of disease. Norway rats can also inflict serious structural damage upon buildings. They will nest under concrete slabs and destroy the foundation of homes. Norway rats gnaw on doors, wall materials, insulation, and even electrical wiring, which can lead to fires. Control and Safety Preventative measures can be enacted to limit the possibility of Norway rat infestation. Taking the time to regularly clean and sanitize can make the home environment an unfavorable place to nest. This includes wiping spills and sweeping up crumbs as soon as the messes are made and removing clutter in attics and basements. Additionally, storing food in sealed, rat-proof containers helps reduce the chance of infestation. Checking the outside of homes for possible points of entry and then sealing any that are found is another way to prevent Norway rats from infesting. Trimming trees and bushes that hang over or sit too close to homes as well as tightly sealing outdoor trash bins also limits the possibility of rats nesting in yards. Trapping and Removal Many rat traps and baits are available to the general public. However, the effectiveness of store-bought removal methods is spotty at best. Calling Critter Control professionals, who specialize in the Norway rat removal, ensures the problem will be eradicated. Our wildlife removal specialists have the knowledge to locate and identify Norway rat infestations and the tools required to safely and efficiently take care of the problem. We can help you get rid of norway rat problems. Call today: 1.800.274.8837.