Millions cringe at the mere mention of them, and there have been horror movies dedicated to them. Just the thought of a city sewer system brings up the image in your mind of hordes of these creatures squealing and squabbling in layers of waste. We have depicted them as creatures that live only in dirty abandoned buildings, sewers, and dumpsters; but this is not accurate. These pests can also live in our homes, and when they appear there, they are a creature that makes us shudder or scream in fear. The Norway rat is only around 7-9 inches long and weighs about 12 ounces, but despite their small size, few would ever look at a rat and express anything but dread and disgust. The question is, “did the Norway rat earn its bad reputation?”
The Norway rat goes by many names; the brown rat, sewer rat, and wharf rat, to name a few. Believed to come from China originally, the Norway rat made its way to the rest of Asia, Europe, and then to the rest of the world over time. Throughout human history, these rats have followed where we have led. They tend to flourish by feeding on what humans will leave behind which is why there seems to be so many in cities and dumps across the world.
Unfortunately for us, these rats also have brought with them serious problems as they do what rats do best, gnaw. A lot! In an effort to keep their incisors from growing out of control, they must constantly chew. If they have found their way into your home, this means that wooden doors, beams, boxes, and anything else they can sink their tiny little teeth into is fair game. These pests can cause a lot of damage to a home, even sparking a fire if they should happen to chew a live wire or two.
Unfortunately, that is not the end of the dangers the Norway rat brings to the table. These rats will rapidly spread disease if left unchecked, especially if they get inside a home to nest. A rat that feels threatened might bite or scratch to get away. This could lead to rat-bite fever or leptospirosis, which can lead to eventual kidney or liver damage. These diseases can also be contracted if a rat infestation leads to rat waste drying and getting into the air where it is inhaled by the family. Norway rats carry other diseases as well that are highly transmittable to people such as salmonella, asthma symptoms, choriomeningitis, and hantavirus. All of these may be spread by rat saliva, rat waste, or by the fleas that rats always seem to carry.
It is safe to say that the Norway rat has proven that it can be a dangerous houseguest for anyone to have. If you have seen evidence of rats or other rodents on your property it is not safe to wait to see if they move on, and it is not safe to try home remedies to get rid of them. Give the rodent specialists here at Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions a call instead. Our expert team will be on their way to help you determine the extent of the infestation and to make your home safe from the Norway rat and everything that it brings with it.