norway rat on wood

What are Norway rats?

Compared to the typical house mouse, Norway rats are a large rodent species. Adults grow to 9 ½ inches long, and their tail adds another 6-8 inches to their total body length. Brown fur with black hair scattered throughout covers their dense bodies, and their belly is a lighter color. They have a blunt nose, small ears, and black eyes.

Like all other rodents, Norway rats have front incisors that grow throughout their lifetime. To prevent their teeth from overgrowing, they gnaw on just about everything they come across. Their large teeth and powerful jaw allows them to cause a lot of structural damage.

norway rat in the woods

Why do I have a problem with Norway rats?

Norway rats live near people and, over the years, have come to somewhat rely on us for their basic needs. They are especially attracted to properties with easy access to food sources. Things like fruit trees, gardens, open trash cans, compost bins, bird feeders, and pet food draw Norway rats into a yard. They take shelter in woodpiles, construction debris, and outbuildings. Once they're living close to your home, it is common for them to get inside through gaps in the foundation and spaces under doors. 

Where do Norway rats nest?

Norway rats living outside make their nests in fields, farmlands, along riverbanks, and under concrete slabs. Their heavy body prevents them from being able to climb, so they enter into structures through the ground floor or basement. They can squeeze their bodies through a space as small as 1/2 an inch. 

Norway rats can enter Washington homes and other structures at any time of the year. However, they tend to be more of a problem in the late fall or winter when food sources outside become scarce. Norway rats nest indoors in basements, crawl spaces, and behind walls voids.

Are Norway rats dangerous?

Norway rats are a dangerous pest. They contaminate food and surfaces with their saliva and excrement. They also spread diseases that cause serious health risks for people, including hantavirus, leptospirosis, rat-bite fever, and salmonella.

Inside homes, Norway rats cause a lot of structural damage by chewing through wires, pipes, drywall, insulation, walls, and floors. Also, rats have poor eyesight; to help them find their way from their nest to food source each day, they follow the same path. As they move back and forth each day, they leave grease marks on walls and furniture. Additionally, they will chew on and damage personal items like furniture, clothing, boxes, and books.

How do I get rid of Norway rats?

For homeowners looking to get rid of Norway rats in their home or property, contact Prosite Pest Control—we specialize in rodent control! At Prosite, we offer comprehensive pest control services for Norway rats that include a detailed inspection.

We begin by conducting a thorough inspection of the property and accurate identification of the rodents on your property. We will then locate entry points and determine what conditions in or around your structure are attracting Norway rats. Upon completing our inspection, we'll discuss our findings with you and recommend a treatment plan to get rid of these pests.

If you're interested in learning more about our rat control services for Ellensburg and the surrounding areas, please contact Prosite today.

How do I prevent problems with Norway rats?

At Prosite, we recommend implementing the following prevention tips to keep destructive Norway rats out of your Washington home:

  • Seal any cracks and crevices found in your home's foundation, exterior walls, and spaces located around utilities (pipes, wire, and ducts).
  • Cut shrubbery away from your exterior walls.
  • Keep grass cut short.
  • Fill in ground holes along your foundation.
  • Harvest fruit trees and gardens regularly.
  • Keep tight-fitting lids on trashcans and compost bins.
  • Remove bird feeders from your yard.
  • Pick up uneaten pet food.
  • tore food in the refrigerator or air-tight containers.
  • Remove trash from your home daily.
  • Vacuum your floors often.
  • Keep storage areas like basements and closets free of clutter and debris.

Helpful Norway Rat Articles

Yakima County's Handy Guide To Norway Rats

Tips To Getting Rid Of Rats & Mice In Your Kittitas County Home


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