Norway Rats

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Norway Rats
Norway Rats
Size: up to 10"
Color: Brown / Grey
Habitat: Damp environment
Origin: Northern China

Norway Rat Control

Of all the rodent species that infest both residential areas and commercial areas, the Norway rat is the largest. They are not only the largest, but in temperate regions, they are the most common species of rodent. Norway rats cause severe structural damages to walls, cables, appliances, and etc. because of their gnawing habits. Moreover, these species of rats eats stored food and contaminates it. Because they are vectors of dangerous disease pathogens, it is crucial to prevent them from becoming a major health threat in your home. Although Norway rats are said to be of Asian nativity, they are found worldwide, including the United States.

Norway Rats Control Products

Rat Bait Station Rat Control kit Rat glue traps Rat poison Bait Rat traps
Rat Bait Stations Rat Control kits Rat Glue Traps Rat poison Baits Rat Traps
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Questions & Answers : How to get rid of Norway Rats (2)
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Norway Rat Identification

The length of the Norway rat from head to the end of their body is about 7 to 9.5 inches long. This is not including its tail that is 6 to 8 inches alone. The tail is usually lighter in color towards the end. They can weigh anywhere from 7 to 18 ounces but in favorable conditions where there is an adequate food source, they can weigh all the way up to 20 ounces. Norway rats have coarse, brown fur and their bellies are gray to a yellowish white color. Like most other rodent species, Norway rats have small eyes and their ears protrude out. However, the ears of Norway rats are small and are covered with short hairs. Also, unlike roof rats that have a pointed muzzle, the muzzles of Norway rats are blunt and fairly short. They are robust animals and seem more heavy-bodied than some other species of rodents that are more slender in shape.

Many homeowners confuse the Norway rat with the Roof rat. Although they are similar in shape and size, there are minute physical characteristics that will differentiate the two species.

Signs of a Norway Rat Infestation

  • Droppings: Most of the time, homeowners will be able to tell what rodent species by looking at the feces that have been left by the rodent. Norway rat droppings are capsule shaped and are about ¾ of an inch long. Compared to the droppings of a roof rat that is similar in size, the ends of the Norway rat dropping are fairly blunt, whereas the droppings of a roof rat looks pointed.
  • Runways/Rub Marks/Tracks: Norway rats will follow the same path of travel between the food source and the nest. They are usually along the walls and other materials that can guide them. Runways that are active have a greasy appearance and are free of dust and other build up matter like cobwebs. There are always fresh droppings and tracks. Tracks that are left by Norway rats are 4 toed in the front and 5 toed from the hind feet. Also, the hind prints are usually longer than the prints that are made by the front feet. Fresh tracks are identified by the clear outline where are older tracks are usually covered over by built up matter like dust. Rub marks of Norway rats are dark and greasy. Fresh rub marks are lighter in color than old rub marks and can be easily rubbed or smeared off whereas older rub marks are dry and have a flaky appearance.
  • Damaged Goods: Although Norway rats eat everything, they are attracted and prefer to eat meats, fish and dried food material like cereal or pet food. You may also see gnawed materials through walls and may find cables or wires around the home that is gnawed on.
  • Burrows: Norway rats will invade the inside of both residential areas and commercial areas. Although they do come inside to forage for food, they will typically nest outside. Many times, Norway rats will create burrows in the banks of dirt, under the concrete slabs, or in areas like the crawl space below the house. Active burrows do not have build up like cobwebs or dust and dirt matter. Also, rub marks or grease marks will be easily found on the burrows of Norway rats.

Habits of Norway Rats

Rats have extremely poor vision and they are also color blind. However, in order to make up for their poor eyesight, they have developed keen senses of smell, touch, taste, and hearing. They have also developed a habit of using their long whiskers to “touch” the materials in the surrounding environment. Norway rats are known to have shy habits. Even though they do explore their surroundings, they are extremely cautious of and will avoid new objects and changes.

Norway rats are nocturnal animals and will be the most active during the late nights. They will forage for food during the night as well as other daily routines. Norway rats can travel up to 100 to 150 feet from their nesting or harborage site. Norway rats have extremely powerful teeth and will gnaw through anything to obtain their food. They are known to gnaw through even plastic and lead pipes and walls. Once they are established in one area, they will continue to travel along the same paths between their breeding site and their food or water source.

Significance of Norway Rats

Rats not only wreak havoc by damaging the structure and gnawing through materials, but they are dangerous vectors of disease pathogens. They are even a part of history when they were thought to have caused the Bubonic plague. Although it is now known that it was fleas that was first known to spread the Bubonic plague, rats are also vectors of plague and have aided in spreading the disease. Fortunately, the plague has not been found in Norway rats in the United States, however, they remain vectors of disease pathogens including the Murine Typhus, rat-bite fever, Salmonellosis or food poisoning, and etc.

How to Get Rid of Norway Rats

There are several methods that are involved in controlling Norway rats which include identification or inspection, sanitation, elimination, and exclusion. It is important that preventative measures like sanitation takes place. Getting rid of adequate food sources like putting away dog food, cleaning stove tops of grease, and etc. might discourage infestations. Also, practicing exclusion by filling cracks and crevices with a metal cloth like copper mesh as well as checking the perimeter of the structure for any entry points will also help to keep rat out of the house. Snap traps, glue traps and rodenticides in bait stations can be placed directly on their paths of travel. Although getting rid of Norway rats will use standard rodent control elimination methods, when eliminating Norway rats in the house or in commercial areas, there are several important things to consider before placing any traps or baits.

  1. Identification/Inspection – It is important to not only identify the species of rodent, but it is also extremely important to inspect to find where the concentrated infestation is located, where they feed, and also where they are nesting. Keep in mind that rats can travel quite a distance to forage for food, but they will use the same paths of travel. Traps and baits can be placed along their runways and according to where they are traveling. Also, to find where they are feeding, you can look for droppings. Although they do not defecate in a specific location around their territory that they have settled in, they typically leave behind droppings in areas where they feed.
  2. Rats are Cautious – Rats are extremely cautious of new materials or changes that have been made to their regular environment. It is going to be dire that you pre-trap by setting traps that are un-set or pre-bait with non-toxic baits.
  3. Correct Baiting – Norway rats prefer such foods as meats, fish, and cereals. It may be the best to use such baits in snap traps or the middle of glue boards. Also, consider using liquid baits. Norway rats usually have a separate water source when they forage on foods that are low in moisture content. When their normal water sources are significantly reduced or even totally eliminated, liquid baits have been proven to be effective.
  4. Fumigation – Norway rats will often times burrow outdoors in the ground. When you can locate their nest, consider gassing their burrows. The labels on gas pesticides should be thoroughly reviewed before applied and burrows that are within 15 feet of or even burrows that may run through, into, or under structures that are occupied should not be fumigated.

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A.   There are several different products for Dust Mite control. Look into Steri-fab, which is a spray that does not have a residual but is great for an initial treatment or one time treatment. Also, Bedlam Bed Bug Spray has dust mites on the product label that is a great product as well and has a short residual of about 1 week to 2 weeks.
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My mother has an apartment (on the 9th floor) in Hong Kong and she found termites. I believe they are drywood termites and she is looking for a spray to prevent the termites from developing again. I wonder if you can recommend a strong product and easy to apply - just spraying at the spot will be great. I also wonder if you shipped directly to Hong Kong. Thanks for your help.
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