Instincts: Rats are instinctively wary of rat control measures such as traps and bait, and colonize in attics, burrows, under concrete and porches, in wall voids and other hard to reach places.
Disease: Rats can harbor and transmit a number of serious diseases. They can also introduce disease-carrying parasites such as fleas, lice and ticks into your home.
Facts, Identification & Control
Latin Name: Rattus norvegicus
The Norway rat is a large rodent that may weigh in excess of 500 grams. They can reach lengths of 400 millimeters and their tails alone may measure 187 millimeters in length. The body of the Norway rat is covered in fur that is brown or gray in color. Their ears and tail are covered in scales. Their tail is shorter than head and body. Its fur is shaggy. Droppings are capsule-shaped.
Nests in underground burrows, from which they enter buildings in search of food. Tends to remain in hiding during the day.
Norway rats are omnivorous and feed on a variety of food sources. If given the choice, they will consume meats, fruits, grain and nuts. Dead animals also serve as a food source for these rats and they are capable of catching small fish and rodents. They require water to drink and they make their colony as close to a water source as possible. Norway rats live in communities with one dominant member.
Reaches sexual maturity in two months and can breed any month of the year. Litter may number from eight to twelve. Females can have four to seven litters per year. Adults live as long as one year.
Norway Rat Information:
Norway rats are prevalent throughout North America. Arriving on ships from Great Britain circa 1775, these rodents quickly spread throughout the American Midwest. By the 1800s, they were present as far as Ontario, Canada.Today, Norway rats thrive in a variety of human habitats. While it is believed that Norway rats originally lived only within temperate forest regions, they are extremely adaptive and now thrive comfortably in densely populated cities. Outside, they can be found burrowing in the soil beneath buildings, in embankments, and near tree roots. Inside, they live in basements, crawlspaces, attics and sewers. They can be carriers of various diseases.
Facts, Identification & Control
Latin Name: Rattus rattus
Black or brown, seven to 10 inches long, with a long tail, large ears and eyes, and a pointed nose. Body is smaller and sleeker than Norway rat. Fur is smooth.
Nests inside and under buildings, or in piles of rubbish or wood. Excellent climber that can often be found in the upper parts of structures.
Omnivorous, but shows a preference for grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables.
Becomes sexually mature at four months, producing four to six litters per year that consist of four to eight young each. Lives up to one year.Roof rats are prodigious breeders. Females are capable of producing up to eight pups per litter and can breed year-round. Within a year, one female may be responsible for up to 40 new rodents.
Roof Rat Information
Black rats have long been named as the cause of the Black Death of the Middle Ages. While this plague is no longer as serious a threat to humans, roof rats are still carriers of disease. They may transfer diseases to both human and domestic animals. The first step in controlling a roof rat infestation is to properly identify the rodents. Roof rats have hairless, scaly tails that are longer than their head and bodies. These rats are nocturnal and are excellent climbers. They leave oily marks on walls and dwell most commonly in attics or ceilings of buildings To prevent a colony from nesting in your home, make sure that all the windows and vents are screened. Roof rats can also enter openings in walls, eaves and roof from the branches of trees. Trim all tree branches to further prevent entry.