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Norway Rat


Actual Size: Approximately 16″ long including the tail.

Characteristics: Robust bodies. Typically grayish-brown in color but can also be reddish-brown to blackish.

Habits: Known to create large burrows. Will nest in basements and crawl spaces of homes.

  • Also known as the “brown rat” or “sewer rat”.
  • Tails are hairy and shorter than their head and body combined.
  • Prefer to live in underground burrows, basements, and tunnels.

Norway Rats in Salina

Norway rats are stocky rats, heavy-bodied, larger, and more aggressive than their cousin the roof rat or black rat. Found throughout Salina, Norway rats are commensal rodents, which means they’re highly dependent on humans for survival so they seek us out to create their habitats. Norway rats will eat almost anything. Like most rodents, Norway rats are most active an hour after sunset and just before dawn. Norway rat gnawing can quickly add up to major damage to homes, gardens, and structures. Norway rats are carriers of serious diseases, including jaundice, rat-bite fever, and salmonella.

Norway Rat Habitat

Norway rats construct burrows two to three inches in diameter and up to 6.5 feet in length. Burrows are constructed outdoors beside foundations and gardens. Norway rats are nocturnal and will enter homes at night in search of food. If nests are inside homes, basements and crawl spaces are most likely. If a population is large, Norway rats will also start appearing in the upper areas of the structure.

Norway Rat Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Norway rats can damage foundations, slabs, garden crops, and plants as they burrow and gnaw to find food and shelter. Inside homes, Norway rats may cause extensive damage when nesting in walls and attics. Accounts of rodents starting fires through the gnawing of electrical wires have been widely reported. Chewed, exposed wires inside walls can spark, causing interior walls to catch fire. When foraging for food, these rats consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, and livestock. Salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat-bite fever are among the dozens of diseases spread by Norway rats.

If you have a Norway rat infestation in your Salina property, always contact a licensed rodent control company.

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