What is a Norway rat and what does it look like?

Norway rats, also known by their scientific name, “Rattus Norvegicus,” are among the most widespread pests, anywhere. As their name might suggest, they are originally from northern Europe, but they found their way across the world by following human migrations and hitching a ride on commercial ships throughout the ages. The large population of rats on ships was such a big problem that sailors would often bring a handful of cats with them, letting them loose on the vessels in order to reduce and control the Norway rat population on board, as the rodents could thrive and reproduce during long seafaring trips, sheltered in the guts of the ships. Their distinctive grey fur and bare-looking tails are particularly striking and distinctive for this species.

What are the signs of a Norway rat infestation?

Rats are quick, so they can run and hide before humans are able to take a glimpse of them. They are not very active throughout the day, but they often hustle during the night, when they roam through garbage bins or scavenge the area for food and water. In some cases, rats can make their way into homes through the drainage system, and climb out of toilet seats.

Rat droppings are highly recognizable, they can be found in the corners of rooms, as well as in cupboards and under tables. In addition to that, it might be possible to notice signs of chewing on food packaging, as these rodents can easily bite through a lot of materials. Many homeowners try to seal cracks and crevices that might allow rats to enter, but rats are able to bite through most material, with the exception of steel wool.

Are Norway rats dangerous? Do Norway rats carry disease?

Norway rats are dangerous to humans. They are commonly very shy and won’t attack if unprovoked, but they can bite people. Their bite can carry rabies or other diseases and infections. In addition to that, rat paws can spread bacteria and germs, so they have the ability to contaminate homes and commercial spaces. Their droppings can also carry germs, bacterial and viral agents.

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Rat Control in New Jersey