Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are native to Europe and were first brought to the United States by British ships in the 1770s. They are common throughout Southwestern Ontario and are a common nuisance to homeowners in and around London, Ontario. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about identifying and getting rid of Norway rats in your home.
What Do Norway Rats look like?
Norway rats are large rodents that can weigh over 500 grams (1.1 pounds). They can be 40 cm (15.8 inches) long, with not quite half of that length being their tail. Their shaggy fur is gray or brown, and their ears and tails are scaly.
Habitat, Diet and Behavior of Norway Rats
While Norway rats are believed to have originated in temperate forests, they are extremely adaptable and can now be found in cities throughout North America. They live in communities with dominant and subordinate members.
Norway rats always live near a water source, and they usually live in underground burrows. They can also be found in sewers, attics, basements, woodpiles, and other places where they can hide during the day.
Norway rats are omnivores. They can catch fish and smaller rodents, and they will also eat carrion, fruits, nuts, and grain.
What Are the Signs of a Norway Rat Infestation in Your Home?
One of the best-known signs of rat infestation is their droppings. Norway rat droppings are oval and can be 1.8 to 2.0 cm (0.7 to 0.8 inches) long.
Norway rats like gnaw and will thus leave teeth marks on things like utility lines or food. They can also leave grease stains when they run along an edge.
Seeing Norway Rats in Your Home
Seeing the rats themselves, especially during the day, can indicate a severe infestation.
Are Norway rats aggressive/dangerous?
Norway rats are both dangerous and destructive. They can severely damage a building by digging burrows in its foundations and by chewing on wiring. They can also destroy people’s belongings by gnawing on them. Norway rats carry a variety of serious diseases, and they can contaminate food with their urine and feces. Given the hazards, it is best to contact a professional pest control specialist such as ASAP Pest Control for their residential pest control services rather than attempt DIY mouse and rat control.
How Did I Get Norway Rats in My Home?
Norway rats are skilled diggers and tunnelers, and they like to hide in yards with gardens, thick shrubs, and uncut grass. Norway rats can squeeze through a hole no more than ½ inch in diameter, so they can easily get into a house through a small gap or crevice. Examples of such entryways include gaps under doors, foundation and wall vents, and holes from plumbing and utility lines.
How to Prevent Norway Rats from Entering My Home?
Seal anything in your home containing food. Make sure garbage cans have a lid that can be securely fastened. Similarly, keep all food, including pet food and birdseed, in sealed containers that a rat can’t breach. Similarly, reduce all food and water sources. Clean up pet waste and spilled birdseed. Don’t feed pets outside. Fix all leaks and make sure sprinklers and faucets aren’t dripping.
How Do I Get Rid of Norway Rats?
If you suspect you have Norway rats, don’t waste time on DIY mouse and rat control. Instead, contact professional pest control technicians, such as ASAP Pest Control in London, Ontario. Their residential pest control services can determine the severity of the infestation, eradicate the rats, and recommend ways to keep them from coming back. Get in touch with the team at ASAP pest control today to learn more about how to properly get rid of Norway Rats in your home.