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Pest Spotlight: The Norway Rat

By July 8, 2023No Comments

The Norway rat, also known as the brown rat, common rat, or sewer rat, is a constant problem in urban areas across the world. Although it was once thought to have originated in Norway, researchers now believe this species started in China and was able to migrate to every continent, except Antarctica.

Norway Rat Behavior

Norway rats are nocturnal creatures with very good hearing and a great sense of smell. They are also excellent swimmers, climbers, and burrowers. This species of rat generally lives underground in burrows or in cellars or sewers. Norway rats are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plants and meat. Although they usually consume a lot of grain in their diet, they will eat almost anything if needed.
One of the most difficult things about Norway rats is that they can reproduce extremely quickly. Small infestations can grow rapidly if not handled properly. One female Norway rat can have up to 14 pups per litter with upwards of 5 litters per year.

​Dangers Associated with Rats

Rats are not only one of the most hated and feared of all pests, but there are also some real dangers that they pose to humans. Rats carry many pathogens that can result in diseases like Weil’s disease, hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, toxoplasmosis, listeria, and salmonella. These diseases are most commonly spread through their urine and feces. Rats, mice, and other rodents can also do damage to homes and businesses. Many fires have been started by electrical wiring that has been chewed through by rodents. Along with wiring, rodents can also damage woodwork, bricks, pipes, and other parts of the building with their constant chewing.

​Preventing Norway Rats

Rat prevention involves three main steps: Seal potential entry points, remove harborages, and eliminate sources of food and water.

​Seal Entry Points

Sealing the exterior of your home, building, or shed is a crucial part of pest control. Fix small cracks and crevices by using caulk, and seal larger holes and gaps with expandable spray foam. Pay special attention to areas where pipes or electrical wiring enters the home, as these areas are common entry points for pests. It is also important to ensure that doors, windows, and garages have weatherstripping around them and form a tight seal.

​Remove Harborages

Rats like to have hiding places that are close to food and water. Yards, gardens, and shrubbery provide excellent hiding spots. Remove these harborages by keeping your yard and landscaping neat and tidy. Cut back any overgrown vegetation, store wood away from the home and off the ground, and make sure you have drain covers that are in good working order.

​Eliminate Food and Water Sources

As with any creature, rats have a constant need for food and water. If your yard or home makes finding these things easy, you will attract large numbers of pests. Cleaning regularly and keeping the inside and outside of your home tidy can be beneficial. Make sure that all garbage cans have lids, keep compost piles covered, don’t use too much birdseed, don’t leave pet food and water out overnight, and clean your home and yard regularly. It is also important to ensure that your yard and home do not contain excess moisture. You can do this by ensuring proper drainage around your landscaping, unclogging gutters and downspouts, and fixing any leaky pipes and faucets.

​Toronto Rodent Control

If you are dealing with a rodent infestation involving Norway rats, roof rats, house mice, or any other type of rodent, GTA Toronto Pest Control can help you get it under control. Our expert technicians are trained on how to identify, prevent, and control rodents and have years of experience. For rat control in Toronto and the surrounding area, trust GTA Toronto Pest Control to get the job done right.