As fall approaches your home looks more and more inviting to rats. After all it’s warm and has a never-ending supply of food. Norway rats may be one of these invaders. Norway rats are also known as brown rats, sewer rats and wharf rats, to name a few. A rat is a rat, right? Wrong. If you look for a few distinguishing features, you will know if you’re dealing with Norway rats.
Norway Rat Identification
Their fur is usually dark gray or brown on the backside and light gray to brown on the underside. Norway rats can be 8 to 10 inches long with a tail that is 7 to 10 inches long. The tail is pink or brown in color and covered with coarse, shaggy brown hair. While they can’t see very well, they have an excellent sense of smell, taste and sound that help direct them to the food in your home.
Diseases Caused By Norway Rats
Norway rats can get into your home through a hole the diameter of a quarter. If the hole isn’t big enough, they will gnaw on it until it is. If Norway rats are not taken care of quickly, they can cause serious damage to your roof. If they chew up a pipe it can lead to water damage and then there’s the danger of an electrical fire if they have destroyed electrical wiring. They can easily contaminate the food in your home because they can carry Salmonella, Bubonic Plague and Hantavirus along with parasites like fleas, ticks and mites. The urine and feces they leave behind can also carry disease.
Signs of Norway Rats
1. Rodent Droppings. The droppings Norway rats leave behind are about 3/4 of an inch long with blunt edges. Droppings will be found along the paths they travel. Be very careful around rat droppings.
2. Rat Tracks. You may notice tracks along the top of dusty or muddy surfaces but can be hard to see on other surfaces. You can leave a dusting of flour on surfaces you think they may be traveling to see if you’re right.
3. Rodent Gnaw Marks. Rats have strong teeth that are always growing. They will gnaw on just about anything to gain entry to your home. They will leave gnaw marks behind that are about two inches or more in diameter with rough edges.
4. Rat Grease Marks. Norway rats have oil and dirt on their fur that will rub off on the walls and baseboards as they travel. Their tails may also leave grease marks along the floor.
5. Rodent Burrows. Norway rats will burrow in areas next to walls and under buildings to create nests for shelter and food storage. They will spend their day in these nests and come out at night.
Norway rats can be dangerous house guests to have. Have you seen the signs that you might have them in our home or property? Don’t delay, contact Southeast Florida Pest Control today! We have the experience to be positively identify rats to establish an effective plan to get rid of rodents.