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Norway Rat Control & Trapping

Norway Rat

01.05.2008 - Here is a photo of a Norway Rat (rattus norvegicus) trapped in a cage trap. I usually deal with Roof Rats in Florida. This photo was sent to me by my brother-in-law Sean, who operates his own wildlife removal business in Seattle, WA. He deals with more with Norway Rats up there. Thought I trained him on Roof Rats down here in Orlando, most of the same principles and techniques apply to both rat species. These rats are by far the dominant rat species in the world, and both occupy a certain ecological niche and thrive as nuisance rodent species worldwide. I will now examine the differences between these two types of rats:

The Roof Rat tends to live in warmer climates, including tropical climates. It is more grey in color, and it's smaller and sleeker. Adults average a 7-inch body and 8-inch tail, and weigh 12 ounces. These rats prefer to live in high areas, off the ground, such as in treetops, and they mostly travel off the ground. They will eat a varied diet and seem to prefer to eat fruits or grains.

The Norway Rat lives in more northern areas. They are more brown in color, and stockier in build. Adults average an 8-inch body and 6-inch tail and weigh 16 ounces. These rats prefer to live on the ground and underground. These are the large types of rats found in the city sewers. They will eat most anything, and seem to prefer meats.

These rats do co-exist, with the Roof Rats living high and the Norway Rats living low. The larger Norway Rats tend to kick out the smaller roof rats when there's competition for the same space. However, I've never observed any of this behavior personally, since I've dealt exclusively with the Roof Rats in Florida.

Sean says that Norway Rats are similar in terms of control and trapping techniques. The key is still to find and seal shut all the entry points into the building. Like me, Sean mostly uses snap traps. However, in this case, he set a cage trap along the gutter at the roofline of the house, and caught this fine specimen.  I like the little tear in its ear, and think it's a handsome fellow.

Do it yourself: Visit my How To Get Rid of Rats page for tips and advice.
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