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Norway Rat Identification & Prevention

norwat rat crawling on a sheet

What are Norway rats?

Norway rats in Orange County, California, are among the most common rodents to find their way to residential and commercial properties. They are a large species with a stout body covered with brown or grayish fur; typically, the fur on their belly is lighter. These rats have thick, scaly tails that are void of hair. From the tip of the nose to the end of the tail, most Norway rats are about 16 inches in length. 

Norway rats are scavengers and have a varied diet; they have adapted to living with people because they have learned that our properties offer them easy access to food. These pests are common in urban and suburban neighborhoods along with more rural areas like riverbeds, farmlands, and fields. That's why pest control services in Orange County are a must!


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  • How can I prevent Norway rats in the future?

    To prevent Norway rats from becoming a problem in and around your home, we suggest taking advantage of our helpful rodent prevention tips:

    • Make sure exterior doors on your home and garage have tight-fitting door sweeps.

    • Reduce clutter in and around your home they can hide within.

    • Repair defects in your home’s foundation.

    • Remove weeds and other overgrown vegetation from your yard.

    • Make sure you place all trash bags in hard-sided trash cans with tight-fitting lids. 

    • Store trash cans and wood piles away from the exterior of your home.

    • Remove stored pantry items from their original packaging and place them in pest-proof containers.

    • Never leave uneaten pet food out for long periods. 

    For rodent control in Orange County, please call The PEST Group today. 

  • How do I get rid of Norway rats?
    When Norway rats find their way to your Orange County property, you want to eliminate them quickly. Here at The PEST Group, we understand how frustrating and problematic a rodent infestation is. We will work with you to quickly solve the problem and implement the year-round services necessary to keep them from returning. Look no further for dedicated professionals who understand the pest control needs of Orange County residents. We will remove unwanted Norway rats from your property. Call today to request a free inspection and to learn more about our residential and commercial pest control services in Orange County.
  • Where will I find Norway rats?

    Norway rats are good swimmers but poor climbers. These rodents prefer to hang out at ground level. Places you are likely to find Norway rats burrowing or hiding include:

    • Ground holes

    • Under concrete slabs or foundations

    • Low-growing vegetation

    • Under wood or rock piles

    Norway rats hang out at ground level inside structures and typically nest in crawl spaces, basements, and wall voids. 

    Rats are nocturnal and are most active at night while we are sleeping. Unless a large rodent infestation is present, you aren’t likely to spot rats out and about during the day. You are more likely to see signs of rats than the actual rats. If rats are in your home, you are likely to notice the following: gnaw marks, holes in food packaging, dark black rat droppings, and scratching or running sounds behind walls. 

  • Why do I have a Norway rat problem?

    Norway rats are attracted to properties that give them access to their basic needs. Why would they spend their days searching for food when our backyards offer them a buffet of food from fruit trees, gardens, open trash cans, bird feeders, and pet food?

    While Norway rats prefer to live outside, they will move into our homes to escape harsh weather or predators or because there is a lack of food. Some of their most common entry points include holes in the foundation, gaps under exterior doors, and crawl spaces. 

  • Are Norway rats dangerous?

    Like any other type of rodent, Norway rats have continuously growing front incisors. To stop their teeth from overgrowing, rodents gnaw on objects they come across. When Norway rats find a way into our homes, their gnawing habits cause significant damage to drywall, wires, cables, pipes, flooring, furniture, and food containers. The root cause of short circuits, fires, and water leaks in your home can be a rat infestation. 

    Though the damage Norway rats cause is problematic, the health concerns they pose are even more significant. As Norway rats travel throughout your home, they contaminate food, counters, and other surfaces with their saliva, excrement, and shed fur. Diseases spread by Norway rats that make people ill include hantavirus, leptospirosis, salmonellosis, and rat-bite fever.

    Sharing your home with Norway rats for any period of time is dangerous. If Norway rats ever find their way into your house, immediately seek professional help to remove them. 

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