Rodents in general are nothing anyone wants to deal with. They are notoriously known for spreading disease and causing costly damages to structures and personal property. Having them invade your home or business is definitely something you want to avoid and with the variety of rodents known living in Texas, it takes the aid of a professional to hinder their efforts. At this time, we at A Five Star Termite and Pest Control would like to briefly discuss Norway rats in an effort to help you employ preventative tactics.
What Attracts Norway Rats?
As previously mentioned, rodents typically infiltrate homes and businesses in search of food and water as well as when the weather becomes extreme. Norway rats are no different, and the destruction they are capable of is extensive. Noticing they are in your home or business is something that needs rectifying as quickly as possible.
Identification of Norway Rats
Norway rats have a lot of similar characteristics of the roof rat, but are stockier and larger. Averaging approximately 17” from tail in length and weighing in around 14 – 17 ounces, the Norway rats’ tail is shorter than the length of their body to their heads. These rats are generally shaggy and typically brown or gray in color with ears and tail that are covered in scales.
Where Do Norway Rats Live & Burrow?
Norway rats are very adaptable; they are just as capable as living outside as they are inside. When these rats stick to the outdoor habitat, they tend to keep to areas where vegetation is fairly dense to offer more protection from predators that include; barn owls, spotted skunks, and house cats top the list. They frequently nest in burrows that are under sidewalks or out buildings. When they do slip into a building, they prefer to dwell on the ground floor or in basements whenever possible. Though they can climb great heights and easily travel along power lines and rooftops. Norway rats prefer to stay grounded.
What Do Norway Rats Like to Eat?
Norway rats’ diet primarily consists of plant and animal matter. When food is scarce they will look to other options such as garbage but prefer seeds and other vegetarian food. In communities where there is ranching and farming, Norway rats will eat young chicks and the eggs; and if necessary, it has been documented where they will even take down and devour lambs and young pigs.
Norway Rat Infestations
At a fairly high rate, Norway rats can reproduce. Females can have 2-14 babies at a time, but average around 7 and the gestation is between 21 and 23 days. For the first 2-4 weeks Norway Rats are very dependent on their mothers for survival. They do not typically wean away from their mothers until around 4 weeks as they are born hairless and blind it will take 14-17 days before their eyes can open. Though they are capable of breeding year round when living indoors, the reproduction slows down during the fall and winter months.
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The damage increases as the infestation numbers do. Not only devastating to the cost in repairs, but Norway rats are linked to bubonic plague, endemic typhus fever, rat-bite fever, as well as a few other diseases. In the event that they do enter your home or business, you will want professionals such as A Five Star Termite and Pest Control to get them out as quickly as possible. Contact us for all your pest control needs.