What Do Norway Rats Look Like?
The Norway rat is about eight inches in length with a scaly tail that’s slightly shorter than its body. They differ from similar rodents by their small ears, blunt nose, and dark fur that lightens to gray or white on their stomachs.
How Can I Tell if I Have a Norway Rat Problem?
Though they remain out of sight during the day, Norway rats often leave hints of their presence behind. Signs of an infestation include:
- Runways – Norway rats travel the same paths while outside the nest, leaving behind greasy track marks.
- Droppings – Pellets have rounded ends and can be as long as three-quarters of an inch long.
- Gnawing – If you find wood shavings, shredded fabric, or insulation, it could be a sign that you have Norway rats.
- Noises – You may hear squeaking, scratching, or chewing when these pests live inside of wall voids or beneath floorboards.
How Do Norway Rats Get Inside Homes and Businesses?
A Norway rat will enter buildings in search of food and shelter, making most homes a prime target for infestation. This rodent can squeeze through an opening as small as a quarter, and they often take advantage of foundation cracks, drains, vents, and gaps in doorways.
Most businesses run the risk of having Norway rats, too. Open doors, loading docks, and uncovered ventilation make it easy for them to get in. Companies such as restaurants and warehouses are especially appealing. However, even scraps in the office break room can draw these pests indoors.
Are Norway Rats Dangerous?
Norway rats can cause many health issues. Food or water polluted by feces may contain Salmonella bacteria, which can cause flu-like symptoms. On the other hand, dust that’s contaminated by droppings or urine may transmit hantavirus when inhaled. A Norway rat may also harbor fleas that can pass on other serious diseases.
These rodents can also cause a lot of property damage, particularly with more severe infestations. Norway rats gnaw through wiring, furniture, and foundations of homes to gather materials for nest building. This not only leads to costly repairs, but fire hazards and unstable structures as well.
How Can I Prevent Norway Rat Infestations?
A few simple methods help deter Norway rats. Store leftovers in plastic and glass containers with tight-fitting lids. Promptly take garbage out to a bin that is far from the building, and seal all holes where power lines and pipes connect to foundations. If problems persist, contact Waltham Pest Services to consult with a professional.