No homeowner wants to discover rats living in their home, but since rats make their homes near human settlements, it may happen to you sooner or later. Here's what you need to know about one particularly large type of rat, the Norway rat.
What do Norway rats look like?
To the untrained eye, Norway rats look fairly similar to other types of rats and mice, but if you know what you're looking for, identification is fairly easy. They have brownish red fur, fat bodies, hairless tails, and small ears. Norway rats can reach lengths of up to 18 inches, including their tails, and reach weights of up to 17 ounces. This makes them far larger than other types of rats and mice, so if you find a huge rat inside your house, it's probably a Norway rat.
What are the signs of an infestation?
Norway rats are secretive animals, so they will live and breed in out-of-the-way places like inside your walls or in your attic. Once their population gets large enough, they will start to spill out into the rest of your home and you will start seeing live rats. Ideally, you want to catch the problem a bit earlier than this, so you need to pay attention to signs that rodents might be present. Look out for their small, brown droppings throughout your house. You may also find brown stains on your walls or floors from dirt or grease on their fur.
Why do they infest houses?
Norway rats infest houses because houses are full of food, and unless the occupants have taken precautions to rat-proof their food, the food is easy to reach. Anything that you've left on your counter or in your cupboards is fair game, from your fruit bowl to your cereal boxes. They move in to your home to stay close to their food source, and then they breed, leading to an infestation.
Can they cause structural damage?
Norway rats' teeth are much different than human teeth. Their teeth grow throughout their lives and they need to constantly chew to wear their teeth down. They may chew on your furniture, on your walls, on your wiring, or on the wooden frame of your house. Any of these targets can lead to expensive damage, so if you think you have Norway rats in your house, you need to deal with them quickly.
Norway rats are large rats that infest houses. If you think you have these rats inside your house, call a pest control company right away before the problem can get any worse.