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  • M Herod

Norway Rat

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Norway rats, also known as brown rats or sewer rats, are a common and highly problematic pest species found worldwide. These rodents are notorious for their ability to adapt to various environments and reproduce rapidly, making them a persistent nuisance in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Here is a description of Norway rats as pests:

Physical Characteristics:

  • Size: Norway rats are medium to large-sized rodents, typically measuring 7-9 inches in length, not including their tail.

  • Color: They have coarse brown or grayish-brown fur with a lighter belly.

  • Tail: Their scaly tail is shorter than their body, usually around 6-8 inches in length.

  • Eyes and Ears: Norway rats have small eyes and ears relative to their body size.

Habitat and Behavior:

  • Nesting: Norway rats create extensive underground burrows and nest in these burrows, often near water sources. They may also build nests within buildings, basements, and crawlspaces.

  • Nocturnal: These rats are primarily nocturnal, which means they are most active at night. They venture out of their nests in search of food and water.

  • Diet: Norway rats are omnivorous scavengers and will eat almost anything. They consume a wide range of foods, including grains, fruits, vegetables, garbage, and even carrion.


  • Rapid Breeding: Norway rats are prolific breeders, with a single pair capable of producing dozens of offspring in a year.

  • Gestation: The gestation period for Norway rats is approximately 21-23 days.

  • Litters: A typical litter may consist of 6 to 12 pups, although larger litters are possible.

Control and Prevention:

  • Professional Extermination: Effective control of Norway rats often requires the services of pest control professionals who can use a combination of traps, baits, and exclusion methods.

  • Sanitation: Proper sanitation measures, such as securing food sources, sealing entry points, and maintaining clean surroundings, can help prevent infestations.

  • Monitoring: Regular inspection and monitoring of potential rat activity are essential for early detection and control.

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