The Norway rat is one of the largest rodents in the world and is a dominant species in most of Europe and North America. The brown rat is often considered a pest, mainly because of the danger it poses, and the health risks imposed by the presence of Norway rat droppings and urine.
To many, different breeds of rats can look similar, but Norway rats are renowned for their larger size. Rattus norvegicus averages around 16 inches, Weighing 350 - 500 grams and can be grey or brown with a lighter underbelly. Another common trait of the Norway rat is short dense fur that can be found all over their body aside from their nose, ears and tail.
The Norway rat will have around 3 - 8 litters per year, which may produce around 5 - 8 young per litter. With a gestation period of about 21 days, and maturity within 2 - 3 months. The average life span is 9 - 12 months.
Rats will eat a lot of whatever they can get, but will normally eat seeds, grain, fruit, nuts, veg etc, but can and will eat smaller animals and insects if hungry and willing to hunt.
Rats may take harbourage within your walls under, decking in gardens, burrow under property, basements, lofts, usually living there is access to a water supply
Reasons for control
Rats can gnaw through electrical cables, skirting boards, old sealant to gain entry
Rat droppings and urine can cause health issues, the potential of disease, which is why many homes and businesses fear an infestation.
Weil's disease can be transmitted to humans from contact with rats or their urine
Like other rodents, the Norway rat can carry many different pathogens which have the potential to lead to disease, e.g. Rat Bite Fever, Weil’s Disease, Q Fever
Wash down surfaces regularly if you have an infestation
An infestation of rats is often rapid due to Norway rats having multiple partners and achieve sexual maturity quickly. As such, those looking to avoid an infestation need to ensure that all waste is managed the right way and that any storage areas for foods are kept secure. It can also be a good idea to ensure that all repairs around the home or business are fixed as soon as possible.
Detecting an infestation
Detecting what and where your pest coming is from is key to any pest prevention.
If you are coming downstairs every morning to a fresh batch of droppings in the kitchen but have no idea where they come from, it could be a long while before you get rid of them. Identification is important, what to look for and to react quickly will greatly benefit you in the long term.
Droppings are a very good indication that you have an infestation. Rat droppings are like a coffee bean in size.
External entry points can be sealed.
Smear marks is another good indication, look around surfaces for smear marks caused by the underbelly of a rat.