Norway Rats

Description

The Norway rat is the largest of the commensal (i.e., living in close association with humans) rodents. The head and body are seven to ten inches long and the tail is an additional six to eight inches. It has a stocky body and weighs seven to 18 ounces. The fur is coarse, shaggy, and brown with some black hairs. The muzzle is blunt, eyes and ears are small, and the tail, which is bi-colored is shorter than the head and body combined. Norway rat droppings are up to ¾ inch long with blunt ends.

Pest Facts

Color
Gray, brown or black

Legs
Four

Shape
Long

Size
13 to 18 inches (seven-to-10-inch body plus six-to-eight-inch tail)

Antennae
No

Flying
No

Region
All 50 states

Habits

Rats are excellent climbers and often enter a home in the fall when outside food sources become scarce.

Habitat

Norway rats live in fields, farm lands and in structures. Rats are often found in woodpiles. Rodents can gain entry to a home through a hole the size of a quarter.

Threats

Rats can chew through wiring, causing fires. They also spread numerous diseases.

Prevention

Keep firewood stored well away from the structure. Remove debris piles. Seal any holes larger than 1/4 inch. Remove moisture and harborage sources.

All information contained within is sourced directly from the National Pest Management Association, with the exception of the description, which is sourced directly from the PCT Technician’s Handbook, 3rd ed.