Rodent - Norway Rat

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Types of Pests
Rodent - Norway Rat

Norway Rats aka Brown Rat or Sewer Rat


  • Description

  • Norway rats are large rodent, about 8-10 inches in body length and 7-10 inches in tail length.
  • Brown or dark grey, with a lighter belly and shaggy fur.
  • May weigh in excess of 500 grams.
  • Ears and tail are covered in scales, and the tail is shorter than the head and body.
  • Typically nest in underground burrows from which they enter buildings in search of food.
  • Tend to remain in hiding during the day.
  • Norway rat droppings are 18 to 20 mm and capsule shaped.
  • Norway rats often are attracted to homes for 3 basic necessities: food, water and shelter. Premise owners need to reduce or eliminate as many of these sources as possible.
  • Life History

  • They reach sexual maturity in two to five months and can breed any month of the year. Litters may number from four to 22.
  • Females can have three to 12 litters per year.
  • Adults generally live up to one year in the wild.
  • Damage

  • Norway rats are omnivorous and feed on a variety of food source.
  • Feed mainly on grains, meat products, insects, and cereal.
  • Can transmit diseases, contaminate food, and damage food packaging.
  • Sightings during the day often indicate a potentially large infestation.
  • Outdoor burrows surrounding the building may be an indication of Norway rat nesting.
  • Rub marks or grease stains caused by rats running along an edge also can indicate activity.  The darker the stain, the greater the activity.