Norway rats are primarily nocturnal and often enter a home in the fall when outside food sources become scarce. These rats are known to gnaw through almost anything – including plastic or lead pipes – to obtain food or water. Norway rats are social rodents and build burrows close to one another.
Outdoors, Norway rats live in fields, farmlands and in structures. These rats frequently burrow in soil near riverbanks, in garbage and woodpiles, and under concrete slabs. Indoors, Norway rats often nest in basements, piles of debris or undisturbed materials. Rodents can gain entry to a home through a hole the size of a quarter.
Norway rats can cause damage to structures through their gnawing and eating. These rats are also vectors of diseases including plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis. In addition, Norway rats can contaminate food and introduce fleas into a home.
Norway Rat Prevention
Norway rats are often drawn to piles of wood, so homeowners should keep firewood stored well away from the structure and remove debris piles to reduce nesting spots. For proper Norway rat control, seal any holes on the outside of the home with silicone caulk. Eliminate sources of moisture, especially in crawl spaces and basements, to get rid of Norway rats. It’s also important to occasionally inspect the home for signs of a Norway rat infestation, including rodent droppings, gnaw marks, damaged goods and greasy rub marks caused by their oily fur.