Throughout Texas, the two most common rats are Norway rats and Roof rats. Either rat is a detriment to have in your home. Their incredible gnawing capabilities can destroy the foundation, structure, utility lines including electrical wiring systems and plumbing, contaminate the food supply, and spread diseases, bacteria, and other harmful hazards. When you see rats invading your Austin, Texas home, call A-Tex Pest Management to eliminate them from your home. In the meantime, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to give some distinctions between the two rats by discussing Norway rats versus Roof rats.
Norway Rats Invasive Species
Norway rats are frequently referenced as sewer rats, which are found throughout Texas and will infiltrate homes and businesses without hesitation. Though origins are unknown, most experts believe they originate from Asia and these rats around the world. In comparison to other rat species, you will notice the tails are shorter and the eyes are smaller with Norway rats. The underside ranges in lighter shades of gray and white, and the rest of the fur is brown with scattered black hairs.
How Many Norway Rats Live in a Nest or Burrow?
Generally, Norway rats are a nocturnal pest but can be seen throughout the day as the need for food, water or better conditions arise. These rats are opportunists and will invade homes any time of year, however, fall is the most common time as the food becomes scarce and temperatures drop. If you see one Norway rat, there are likely more because Norway rats because are social pests and will burrow close together. These rats are known to chew through plastic and even lead piping to get to a water source, causing extensive damage.
Where Do Norway Rats Live?
Norway rats are adaptable, but frequently inhabit farmlands and fields along with any type of structure that can offer shelter. Norway rats chose loose soil to burrow in; often near riverbanks, under garbage and woodpiles along under slabs. Once they navigate their way into your home, Norway rats tend to prefer the basements, in undisturbed areas such as under clutter. These rats can squeeze into your home easily and only need a gap or a hole the size of a quarter.
Norway Rat Diseases
Norway rats are a hazard for the diseases they spread including common ailments such as cowpox virus, plague, jaundice, trichinosis, salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever in addition to the fleas they are likely hosting and the flea-illnesses. These rats will also destroy your home, possessions, and contaminate your food supply.
What Do Roof Rats Look Like?
Roof rats are another common rodent found around the globe. These rats are believed to originate from Southeast Asia, particularly in the tropical regions and are sometimes known as ship rats or black rats. When compared to Norway rats, roof rats are smaller, only averaging 6-8 inches long and Roof rats also have larger eyes and ears and feature a long, thin, scaly tail. Intermixed of black in their brown fur, their undersides vary in color and have been black, gray or color variations. With their incredible ability to climb and frequently get into homes from access in the roof, roof rats have a tendency to traverse heights and can do so with ease. These rats are just problematic as Norway rats when they infest your home.