image of Norway rat image of roof rat
               Norway Rat                                                  Roof Rat

Types of Rats

Attracted to food, water, and shelter, rats are able to thrive in both urban and suburban areas.

Common Rat Species
Though there are many types of rats, Norway rats and roof rats are the most common species that infest homes.

Roof Rats vs. Norway Rats

Size
In terms of size, roof rats are slightly smaller than Norway rats. In fact, the average roof rat measures between seven and eight inches in length, while their cousin is about eight to ten.

Although Norway rats are more robust, they have smaller eyes and ears than the roof rat.

Appearance
Also referred to as the black rat, roof rats are typically black in color with a lighter underbelly. Additionally, these pests have long, scaly tails that can reach up to ten inches in length.

On the other hand, a Norway rat’s fur is typically brownish-gray and their tail is much shorter, measuring only four to eight inches.

Norway Rat and Roof Rat Damage

Behavior
In addition to appearance, the two rats also have differences in behavior, which can translate into different kinds of destruction around the home.

Destruction
For example, Norway rats dwell at the ground level and invade homes and yards through burrowing. This can lead to the destruction of:

  • Foundations
  • Sidewalks
  • Structures
  • Patios

Roof rats tend to seek shelter on roof tops and in attics, where they may chew through:

  • Walls
  • Insulation
  • Pipes
  • Wires

Disease
Both the Norway rat and roof rat can also spread disease through their droppings and urine.

In fact, plague, murine typhus, jaundice, leptospirosis and Weil’s disease are just some to name a few. When infected, people and animals can become extremely ill and some cases may even lead to death.

Detecting and Removing Rats

Detection
Homeowners can detect the company of Norway rats and roof rats through various signs.

Infestations are most likely present when homeowners observe the following:

  • Feces: Droppings in cabinets, food containers, and throughout homes.
  • Noises: Scratching noises coming from the attic or in walls.
  • Food: Damage to stored food items, including packages and containers.
  • Gnawing: Gnaw marks on or around doors, walls, and beams.
  • Chewing: Chewed up wires or pipes.
  • Burrows: Burrows near or around the perimeter of property.

Of course, there are other signs of rat infestations, but these are the most common and easiest to identify.

Contact an Expert
Though residents may try to take removal upon themselves, it is best to contact the pest control experts at Western Pest, as they have the necessary training and equipment to rid homes of rats.