The Norway rat, also known as Rattus norvegicus, the brown rat, the common rat, the sewer rat, and the city rat, is a rodent species that is spread out all over the world. We mostly know them because they are the number one rat species in home infestations, and in this article, we’re going to take a more in-depth look at this rat, how it came to the US, and what it means when it infests your home.
Despite the name, the rat does not actually originate from Norway. It is likely a species that hails from Asia, and which migrated and traveled with humans all over the world. The name Norway rat was given to the species in England, because the rats reached the country from Norway in the 18th century.
Norway rats are fairly big, reaching lengths of up to 18 inches, tail included. They have bristly brown or gray furs, with black hairs here and there, and their underside is usually of a lighter color.
Norway rats would not be able to survive all over the world if they were not adaptable. Of course, humans play a big role in their ability to adapt, because as weather conditions worsen, the rats will immediately try to gain access to one of our homes. They also have an omnivorous diet, and they can eat food found in garbage piles without getting sick.
The dangers posed by the Norway rat
The big issues with Norway rats are that they carry and spread diseases, and that they cause damage to the home. It’s estimated that rats can spread up to 35 pathogens, and since they need to constantly gnaw on something, they will cause damage to walls, furniture, electrical wiring and insulation. On top of that, they reproduce very, very fast, so rat infestations can quickly get out of hand.
Controlling Norway rat populations
It’s important to take action as soon as you notice the first signs of a Norway rat infestation. Maybe you’ve seen one crawling around your home or property, or maybe you’ve spotted some droppings behind a kitchen counter. Since these rats are so dangerous and they reproduce so fast, getting professional help is essential to removing an infestation quickly. Contact us today if you have any questions about Norway rat infestations, or if you have an infestation that has to be removed.