- Common Name(s): Norway Rat, Brown Rat, Street Rat, Sewer Rat
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Muridae
- Common Species: Rattus norvegicus
- Commonly Confused With: Other Rodents
How to Identify?
The Norway rat is between 14-18 ounces in size. It possesses a scaly tail which is shorter than some other rodents’ tails. They have short brown to gray hair, and their feet, tail, and small ears are mostly, if not completely, hairless. They have small eyes and are usually the largest of all commensal rodents.
Where do they live?
The Norway rat lives outdoors, but can commonly find its way into structures such as warehouses, homes, businesses, graineries, etc. They are usually found in burrows outdoors and can venture inside in search of food. Indoors, they are most commonly found in basements or crawl spaces.
What do they eat?
These rodents are particularly fond of meat, but they will eat pretty much any food source, whether intended for humans or animals, that they come across.
What do they do?
These rodents are mostly nocturnal, but they can be active during the day, usually when foraging for food. In addition, these rodents have a tendency to defecate indoors, contaminating food, dishes, etc. They are major problems in areas such as stores, warehouses, and granaries.
The Norway rat can cause numerous issues indoors due to their constant gnawing to grind down their constantly growing teeth. They can have up to 7 litters a year, usually giving birth to 8-13 young per litter! They have been linked to the spread of many known diseases to humans, like the plague and typhus.
- Texas Tech University Norway Rat. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/tmot1/rattnorv.htm
Author: G. Wyatt West– B.S.E.S University of Georgia 2017; Board Certified Entomologist
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