Rats are no stranger to Pittsburgh. With the vermin running around and intruding into homes and businesses, they are common pests that most of the locals have had some kind of experience with. Norway rats are among the most common rat species found in our area. They are known to spread a number of diseases and inflict damage to structures, utility lines and personal property. Today, we at Stewart Termite and Pest Control would like to elaborate briefly on Norway rats.
Norway Rat Identification
Believed to originated from Asia, Norway rats found readily throughout the world. As mentioned, these rats are notorious for causing damage to structures and property damage from their gnawing habits. In comparison to other rats, Norway rats have smaller ears, eyes, and even a shorter tail. Their coloring is primarily brown with scattered black hairs with undersides that are variations of gray to white. Like typical rodents, they move around on 4 legs feature a blunt muzzle and have long, heavily bodies that measure between 7 and 9 ½ inched in length.
Where Do Norway Rats Live & Burrow?
Norway rats are generally nocturnal creatures that will frequently invade homes in the fall when food is the scarcest but will wander inside throughout any time of year. To get to food and water, they will gnaw through almost anything including plastic or even lead piping. Sticking close together, Norway rats are social rodents and will even construct their burrows in close proximity. When sticking to natural habitats outdoors, Norway rats will live in farmlands and fields and will find structures to live in if the need arises. Their burrows are commonly found in the loose soil near river banks along with in garbage and woodpiles as well as under concrete slabs. Once inside, these rats will be more attracted to the basements or find piles of debris and clutter that is undisturbed. Norway rats only need an opening about the size of a quarter to get inside.
Diseases Spread By Norway Rats to Humans
As they forage for food, their gnawing contributes to costly damage. As vectors of known diseases that include cowpox virus, trichinosis, plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, and salmonellosis they are nothing no one wants in their home as they can also contaminate food and bring an infestation of fleas inside.
Norway Rat Prevention
To reduce the risk of Norway rats inside your home, store piles of firewood away from the home’s foundation in addition to any piles of clutter that might look tempting to nest under. Seal any holes, gaps, and cracks with silicone caulk. To eliminate a water source and favorable conditions, remove moisture, particularly in crawl spaces and basements. Additionally, stay aware of any indications of an infestation that include gnaw marks, rodent droppings, greasy rub marks left behind from their fur as well as damaged goods and property.
Rodent Control & Removal
If you suspect Norway rats are invading your home or business, call in the specialists at Stewart Termite and Pest Control and let our experts help you get them out. Getting them early can help you avoid high population and extensive damage. At first sign give us a call!