The Norway rat is commonly known as a sewer rat or street rat. These rodents have short hair that ranges in color from brown, gray, and black with a white belly. Norway rats are commonplace in the U.S. and have a reputation for being unclean and causing property damage. In an infestation, they will eat through household items and features, such as wires and drywall, introduce fleas and pathogens to the home, and will bite humans when threatened. A rat bite can result in dangerous illnesses, including jaundice, fever, cowpox, and others.
You may have a Norway rat infestation if you notice rough teeth marks around the home, droppings, footprints, oily and dark smears on surfaces, damaged food packages, and, of course, a visual sighting of a rat. Preventative measures can be taken to reduce your risk of acquiring rats. For example, removing outdoor wood piles and yard debris, sealing exterior cracks and holes, and carefully sealing garbage containers can help discourage a rat infestation. However, if one occurs, it is important to then entrust treatment to a pest control professional who can safely and effectively remove them.