Norway Rat Identification Guide


What are Norway rats?

Norway rats are large rodents with brown or grey colored fur and large biting teeth they use to gnaw into any material they come across. Norway rats can grow to about 12 to 16 inches long from nose to tail, but despite their size, they can still squeeze into holes as small as half an inch in diameter.

Norway rats in New Haven are notorious for their climbing ability. If you have trees near the roofline of your home, don’t be surprised if a Norway rat makes its way up and onto your roof. Once on your roof, it will chew its way into your attic.  Once a rat has found its way inside your home, don’t be surprised if other rats follow. Norway rats are highly dependent on water to survive, so once they get into your home, they are attracted to bathrooms, kitchens, and areas that have drainage or humidity issues.

norway rat on a rock


Are Norway rats dangerous?

Beyond their painful bites, rats are dangerous and cause a variety of health concerns. They cause allergic reactions in some people and also spread bacteria and disease. Specifically, Norway rats can spread jaundice, rat-bite fever, trichinosis, salmonella, and other harmful diseases.  

Why do I have a rat problem?

As Norway rats are nocturnal, you probably won’t see them active in your home.  Instead, you will find evidence of their presence. This can include the droppings they leave behind, the oil smears they make on surfaces they come into contact with, the holes they dig into walls and siding, and more.

Norway rats require lots of water to survive, so if you have excessive moisture around your home that could be the reason why Norway rats have come inside. Go through your home and fix any leaky pipes or faucets and ensure your drains are working properly.

Where are Norway rats commonly found?

A common indicator that you have Norway rats is the presence of damage to specific parts around your home. Look for signs of gnawing around pipes, flooring, electrical wiring, and drywall. Likewise, check for signs of burrowing under sidewalks, decks, garages, sheds, and foundations near your home. If you’ve started finding holes in your clothing or furniture or small droppings in your closet or pantry, it’s likely you’ve got a rodent problem on your hands.

Most people with rat problems don’t “find” them but rather find evidence that they’ve been there, including droppings and holes they’ve gnawed. Common areas of activity for Norway rats include kitchens, pantries, bathrooms, attics, and basements. 

How can I prevent Norway rats getting into my home?

Norway rats can strike at almost any time, so us the following tips to mitigate your risk for rats as much as possible:

  • Keep shrubs, vines, and tree limbs trimmed away from a structure so that rodents can use them as a way to reach the home’s roof.
  • Store trash only in sealed containers.
  • Place dog food, birdseed, and human food inside rodent-proof containers.
  • Keep the yard clear of trash, clutter, and toys.
  • Seal all gaps around the house more than 1/2 inch in diameter.
  • Seal utility openings with sealant or pipe collars.
  • Keep lumber, firewood, bricks, pipes, or other debris stored far away from the home’s foundation.
  • Install mesh screens on attic, crawl space, and dryer vents.
  • Organize storage areas to prevent clutter that can attract rodents.
  • Clean up any spilled food or drink items around the house immediately.

How do I get rid of Norway rats?

Norway rats are practically impossible to treat using DIY methods alone. Most fail to treat the entire problem, and even if you eliminate all the rodents in your home, you’ll still be left with the mess and destruction they’ve brought with them.

Don’t fight your rodent problem alone. Trust the New Haven rodent exclusion experts at Connecticut Pest Elimination, Inc. to remove your rodent problem completely and keep your home safe and protected. Contact us today for a free inspection.


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