What is Norway Rat?

Norway rats, also known as brown rats, are large members of the mouse family, about 16 inches in length. They have shorter tails and larger bodies in comparison. Male rats are more significant than females, and the average weight of this species ranges from 0.5 to just above 1 pound. Brown rats are known to adjust well in urban areas.


Short, dense fur covers the entire body of the brown rat except for its nose, tail, and ears. Their colour ranges from grey to brown, but their underside often has lighter colouring.

Brown rats are Poly gynandrous, which means both sexes within a group mate with multiple partners. Males reach sexual maturity in 3 months, and females in 4 months. While breeding isn’t seasonal for these pests, their activities increase during summers.
Once the females give birth, they go into oestrus again in 18 hours. They can have as many as seven litters a year. The females experience oestrus for about six hours, and during this period, they mate 500 times with multiple competing males. Gestation for females last between 22 and 24 days. The young rats nurse for 3 to 4 weeks before leaving the nest.

Norway rats are foragers and can survive on various foods. They eat discarded human food and crops from fields, plants, lizards, chicks, and other rodents. These creatures live under bushes and in sewers.

They construct deep burrow systems and can make nests of shredded materials. Since these rats are closely associated with humans, they can be commonly found in coastal urban areas.

The average lifespan of wild Norway rats is about two to three years. However, they can live up to four or five years in human care.

Signs of Brown Rat Infestation

Look for these signs of a brown rat infestation on your property:

Droppings: The droppings of this species are different from other rodents as they are typically glistening black in colour and measure about ¼ to ½ inch in length. However, the shape and size may differ depending on their diet.

Track marks: Brown rats leave marks on their hind foot forming a track that measures about 3/4-1 inch. You may also spot drag marks on their tail that drags between their feet. If you lightly powder the suspicious areas with flour or powder, you may find drag marks on these creatures.

Smudge marks: These rats’ fur has oil and dirt that may create smudge marks on your property. You will likely spot these marks in pipes, beams, and support pillars if your property has Norway rats.

Urine: Brown rats’ urine is fluorescent, and you may see dry and wet urine remains on your property.

Gnawing signs: New gnawing marks of these rats are rough in general, while older marks appear to be smooth and greasy.

Burrows: It is common to find their burrows along building foundations or below garbage and plant undergrowth.

We Can Remove Norway Rats from Your Property

Norway rats multiply quickly; hence, early detection and prevention are needed to keep these critters away from your home. To prevent them from entering your property, it is essential to seal holes and entry points, reduce water availability by fixing leaking pipes, keep food in an air-tight container, and maintain cleanliness.

If you suspect these rats have invaded your home, contact us. Our pest control experts have the experience to remove rats from residential and commercial properties. No matter how large or small your property is, we can remove the infestation using safe products and modern techniques.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where Do Norway Rats Nest?

Norway rats like to stay close to water sources, which is why they can be found in underground. burrows. They commonly create burrows along building foundations, below garbage piles, and around gardens and riverbanks. If a Norway rat nest indoors, they are likely to be found in basement areas, behind walls, or in crawl spaces.

How Can I Tell If I Have a Rat Problem?

Rats are nocturnal, so you may only sight them in your home once there’s a large infestation. However, if brown rats are present in your home, you will see large gnaw marks on food, pipes, furniture, and other objects.
You may also spot grease stains on walls as these creatures move along them while moving in the house. If these rats move behind walls, you may hear them and sight droppings about 18-20cm in size.

How Do I Control Norway Rats?

Controlling Norway rats can be an immense challenge. These pests are known for their tenacity, so if you find one rat in your home it’s likely there are others lurking around your property. Thankfully, there is a solution: professional help from a reputable pest control company such as Tom’s Pest Control.
Our experienced team has the skills and knowledge required to quickly and efficiently identify, contain and remove any rat problems from the premises. With their expertise, you will have peace of mind that your property is free from these notorious pests.