Residents of California are familiar with the rodents we share our state with. Both rats and mice will intrude on homes and businesses when given the opportunity. They will wreak havoc as they try to pilfer food and materials for nesting. In addition to the destruction, rodents are known carriers of serious bacteria and germ causing diseases. Where rodents will defecate and urinate wherever they happen to be, your food-preparing surfaces and contaminated food can be negatively affected. The structure, utility lines, and food supply can all contribute to replacement and repair costs and your health can be threatened. When it comes to rodents, Norway rats are among the most common. Bearing this mind, we at Animal Pest Management would like to provide some basic fundamentals of the Norway Rat.
Norway Rat Characteristics
When compared to other rats, the Norway rat has smaller ears, a short scaly tail, and a blunt muzzle, making them more distinguishable. On average, these rats range from 12 ½ and 18 ½ inches in length and weigh approximately 10 to 11 ¾ ounces. As they scurry on all four legs, you may notice the scattered black hairs throughout their coarse fur, typically in variations of brown and gray and white or gray undersides. Norway rats are very common rodents and found all over the world. Though their name suggests otherwise, these rats are believed to have originated from Asia.
Burrowing Norway Rats
These rats will often come into homes any time of the year when food is scarce, evading predators, or when the weather is extreme, however, they are most likely to intrude in the fall when these factors are highly likely. Living socially, Norway rats will burrow close to each other and go about daily activities in each other’s company. Knowing this, if you see one rat, you will likely have multiple rats around. When they get inside your home or business, they seek out the undisturbed areas, like under the clutter and debris found in basements for example.
Taking shelter in structures in the outdoor in farmland and fields areas that offer safety, shelter, and other comforts as well as to flee harsh weather conditions and/or predator. Under concrete slabs, garbage, wood piles, and other clutter Norway rats will burrow in the loose soil along the riverbanks or developed areas.
Norway Rat Damage & Diseases
These rats are often the suspects when electrical wires and plumbing pipes have been gnawed through and destroyed as Norway rats have incredibly powerful gnawing capabilities. Their powerful chewing can even destroy the plastic and lead pipes. Food wrapped in flimsy plastic, paper, and cardboard is no match for their chewing habits. Once they can access your food supply, they will contaminate the food by crawling over the top of it and releasing their bodily waste all over it. Some of the common diseases spread by Norway Rats include rat-bite fever, the plague, cowpox virus, salmonellosis, jaundice, and trichinosis, as well as any diseases carried by the fleas, they are highly likely to have.