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Norway Rat

Actual Size: 16” long including the tail

Characteristics: Large bodies. Typically grayish-brown can be reddish-brown to blackish.

Habits: Known to create 6.5 feet long burrows in gardens or along property lines. Will nest in basements and crawl spaces of homes.

  • Commonly called the “brown rat” or “sewer rat”.
  • Tails are hairy and shorter than their head and body combined.
  • Can be found in tunnels, basements, or underground burrows.

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Norway Rats in Kailua Kona

Norway rats have stocky, heavy bodies; compared to their cousins, the roof rat and black rat, they are bigger and more aggressive. They can be found throughout the United States and are known as commensal rodents, meaning they live near and depend on humans for survival.  The Norway rat has a diverse diet, preferring to eat cereal grains, meats, fish, nuts, and certain fruits, but will eat almost anything. They are most active around an hour after sunset and just before dawn. Like most rodents,  Norway rats like to chew and can cause significant damage to homes, gardens, and structures. Norway rats are carriers of several diseases, such as jaundice, rat-bite fever, and salmonella.

Norway Rat Habitat

Typically, Norway rats are ground-dwelling rodents, creating burrows measuring 2 to 3 inches in diameter and extending up to 6.5 feet in length. These burrows are built outdoors, often next to foundations and gardens. Norway rats are most active after dark and will enter homes at night to seek food, then retreat to their burrows. While they prefer the outdoors, Norway rats may nest indoors in basements and crawl spaces. If the Norway rat population is large, they may nest in higher areas of a home or structure.

Norway Rat Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Norway rats threaten foundations, slabs, garden crops, and plants due to their burrowing and gnawing activities in their search for food and shelter. They can cause significant damage to homes by nesting in walls and attics. Fires caused by rodents, like Norway rats, gnawing on electrical wires are widely reported. The damaged wires can spark and ignite interior walls. Norway rats can contaminate food meant for humans, pets, and livestock, spreading diseases like salmonella, leptospirosis, and rat-bit fever.

If you have a Norway rat infestation in your Kailua Kona property, always contact a licensed rodent control company.