The Norway rat is easily recognizable by its coarse brown or gray fur. They are also known as brown rats, common rats, or sewer rats. The brown rat can vary in length depending on its living conditions and can grow up to ten inches long, with a tail as long as its body. On average, the rat weighs about 19 ounces. It is not uncommon for large males to reach a full 32 ounces.

The sewer rat, much like others of its species, has a keen sense of hearing. These rodents are also sensitive to ultrasound. Perhaps this acute ability to detect sound is overcompensation for weak vision. Norway rats are often albino, lacking pigmentation and are prone to poor eyesight because of it. A Norway rat can, however, detect ultraviolet light as well as create ultrasonic noises.

norway rat

Norway rats are most easily spotted at night when they are most active. These critters are likely to be scurrying or swimming, but they make for very poor climbers. Norway rats were once thought to have a superior thinking ability similar to humans, called meta-cognition, but it is now widely accepted that the behaviors rats display are due more to conditioning than any actual elevated thought process.


Norway rats are commonly found living near humans. Alternatively, the animals prefer damp conditions that have an abundance of greenery, such as a riverbank. Urban-dwelling Norway rats do not travel as far each day as their country counterparts.

This common mouse lives to eat and will eat almost anything. As with any species, the Norway rat’s habitat relies heavily upon the nearest food source. These pests will usually stay within about 70 feet of their nest, so if you see one out and about, chances are, the rat nest is close by.

Norway rats inhabit nearly every region in the world, with the few exceptions being the Arctic, Antarctica, and some remote islands.

Control Or Elimination

Control methods for Norway rats vary by rat infestation location and size. Baiting and trapping are by far the most common methods used by professional pest control technicians as well as homeowners. If you choose to use pesticides, please note these can be toxic to pets and small children. You should follow the instructions for correct application procedures. If you suspect that a pet has consumed bait, contact a veterinarian immediately.

You can also use bait stations as an effect control method to get rid of these rodents. Bait stations lure the rat to come out of hiding but can also pose a threat to household pets that may also see it as bait. You should always make sure that your trap or bait station is secure if you can rattle the location, pets or children might be able to get in. Make sure to also find the best rat bait.


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