Mice and rats become a major nuisance during the winter season. Unlike many other pests, these rodents don’t hibernate. Because they are active they become desperate to find shelter from the cold and food. As fall brings in the cooler temperatures, rodents begin to look for ways to survive the winter. By the time winter is here, they have probably already found your home. One species of rat that poses a serious problem in Northern Utah and Southern Idaho homes is the Norway rat. Rentokil will share how to identify Norway rats and offer tips for how to control them this cold winter season.
Norway Rat Length & Identification
Norway rats are a large species of rat that can grow up to 15 inches long, of which half of that length is their tail. Norway rats have a shaggy fur coat that ranges from brown to gray in color, with a lighter colored underbelly. Norway rats also have smaller ears and eyes than other species of rats. However, both the tail and ears are covered in scales rather than hair. The nose or muzzle of the Norway rat is rounder than other species and so is their body shape. Norway rats don’t like to be seen and usually only come out at night. Therefore, many people don’t actually get to see them. However, you can also identify a Norway rat by their droppings. The droppings of the Norway rat are capsule-shaped with rounded ends.
Burrows & Habitat of the Norway Rat
In most cases, Norway rats prefer to live in burrows in the ground where they make tunneling systems to get to food and even to get inside homes. Their burrows provide protection during the day and they use the cover of darkness at night to search for food. Norway rats are omnivorous but particularly like to consume meats, fruits, nuts, and grain if given the choice. Most colonies of Norway rats will gather near a water source. Even though they are somewhat social, there isn’t a hierarchy in social communities. The major problem with having Norway rats invading your home is how quickly they can reproduce. A single female can have up to 22 pups in each litter and can have 12 litters in a single year!
Preventing Norway Rat Damage & Spread of Diseases
If you have a Norway rat infestation occurring around your home, you will need to act fast before they cause serious damage to your home and property, not to mention spread dangerous bacteria and diseases.
First, look around the outside and even inside for a potential water source. Again, Norway rats need water and will gather near a water source. Obviously, you should repair or remove the source of water.
Next, locate a food source. This can be tricky since they eat anything. However, do your best to eliminate all food sources such as open containers, pet food and fallen fruit from the trees on your property.
Next, determine how they getting inside your home. They can climb through chimneys, attic vents, and even holes in your roof, walls, or foundation. Any entry point must be sealed.
Your best defense from Norway rats is hiring a professional pest control company. Rentokil can eliminate rats and the problems they cause in your home. If you want to be pest-free this winter and all year round, contact us today.
Rodent Damage & Diseases; How to Get Rid of Norway Rats & Burrows in Provo, UT in Salt Lake County and Northern Utah
Serving Northern Utah and Southern Idaho since 1999