picture of a norway rat

Identifying a Norway Rat in the Attic

Appearance
Norway rats are large, weighing up to a pound or more at full maturity. They have coarse fur that is usually a brownish to reddish gray on their backs, and a light, buff gray on their underbellies.

Signs of Infestation
Visual confirmation of rats is rare, and is usually a sign of a large infestation. The first sign of Norway rats in an attic is usually their droppings along rafters and above windows.

Do Norway Rats Nest in Attics?

It is somewhat rare to find Norway rats in attics. Unlike roof rats, a similar species, they aren’t particularly agile creatures fit for climbing and jumping.

However, if the lower level of a building already has too many rats nesting, or if something frightens them, Norway rats will move upstairs to live in the attic.

Damage in Attics

Disease
Norway rats can be a threat when they nest in attics, carrying nearly a dozen diseases, including:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Rat-bite fever
  • Hantavirus
  • Plague

Transmission
Particles of their feces, urine, and dander can enter ventilation systems, where it then distributes throughout the house and triggers allergies in residents. A Norway rat in the attic may also contaminate stored items or chew wiring, with the potential to start a fire.

Controlling Norway Rats in the Attic

Exclusion
Because rats can pull themselves through holes about the size of a quarter, it is important to know where they enter homes and how to close off these areas. Common entry points include:

  • Gaps around garage doors
  • Cracks in venting and flashing on roofs
  • Breaks under siding at ground level
  • Torn screens in upper level windows
  • Entrances to subfloors and structural voids in crawl spaces

These crevices can be sealed with:

  • Cement
  • Hardware mesh
  • Expandable foam
  • Steel wool

Call the Professionals
When rodents persist, the professionals at Western Pest can remove Norway rats in attics safely and efficiently.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857