Yakima County's Handy Guide To Norway Rats

Have you seen a big, fat, mangy, brown rat waddling through your Yakima County yard? That brown rat is called a Norway rat, and no, it didn't travel from Norway to infest your yard. Norway rats can be found on every continent except Antarctica. These rats are known as brown rats, sewer rats, street rats, wharf rats, and common rats. This last name is the name that fits them best. Norway rats commonly enter our yards and they commonly get into our homes. Here are a few things every Yakima County resident should know about Norway rats.

Norway Rats Create Burrows

It is important that you know that you're up against an animal that digs tunnels under the ground. This should have an impact on your rat-control strategy.

  • If you have piles of objects in your yard, these animals will be inclined to build a burrow underneath. Removing yard clutter can deter Norway rats from living in your yard.
  • If you attempt to protect a food source by surrounding it with a fence, you'll need to install that fencing at least a foot below the surface. This will prevent Norway rats from digging a tunnel underneath.
  • If Norway rats get into your home, they're likely to be in your basement, cellar, or crawl space. They're particularly attracted to areas where there is dirt.
  • Norway rats typically go in and out of a structure, returning to their exterior home in the ground. Exterior traps can be effective at getting control of an interior infestation of Norway rats.

Norway Rats Have A Diverse Diet

One of the reasons these rats can be found all over the world is that they are able to eat a wide selection of things. They prefer living on discarded human food, but they aren't limited to the foods we eat. They can live on a selection of plant and protein sources found in nature. They're happy to eat leftover chicken in your trash, or a lizard in your landscaping. They'll nibble on an insect as quickly as a tomato in your garden, fruit from a fruit tree, or nuts that have fallen to the ground. They're also known to eat other rats and mice. Norway rats aren't picky. They'll eat a dead animal that is in the process of decomposing. But, of all the things these rats eat, the most disgusting thing they eat is feces. This is why they live in sewers. Consider these facts as you attempt to keep rodents from getting into your home.

  • Make sure your trash is in sealed containers.
  • Reduce unnecessary vegetation in your landscaping to reduce potential food options.
  • Reduce moisture in your landscaping to reduce pest activity, such as lizards, mice, and bugs.
  • Protect your garden, fruit trees, and berry bushes with fencing.
  • Move bird feeders away from your exterior to keep seeds from littering the ground near your home.
  • Rake nuts up and dispose of them.
  • Take measures to reduce wildlife activity around your home, such as eliminating sources of water, harborage options, and food sources.
  • If you have a dog, be sure to pick up the droppings in your yard.

Norway Rats Are Dangerous

These rats spread harmful bacteria, parasitic worms, and diseases. They are hosts for fleas, ticks, and other ectoparasites, which can also spread diseases. They can damage your home, and create pathways for rainwater. They chew on wiring and gas lines, which can cause a fire to break out. Their feces and urine are a source of contamination, and they can damage building materials and stored items. While rats don't prefer to bite, they can bite if they feel threatened.

Norway Rats Are Hard To Keep Out

These animals have a startling ability to get inside man-made structures. Their teeth are strong enough to tunnel through wood and chip away at concrete. If they make a hole the size of a quarter, they can get into your home. The best solution for Norway rat control is professional pest management.

If you live in Yakima County, Washington, contact Prosite for effective control of Norway rats and other rodent pests. Don't let these rats live in your home or your yard. If they're in your yard, it is likely that they're entering your home. 

Reach out to us today for immediate assistance.

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