There are many rat species across the US, but only two of them are responsible for most home infestations – the Norway rat and the roof rat. Let’s take a look at these two species, the differences between them, and how they infest the home.
Differences in appearance
There are a few visual differences between these two species. Norway rats have mostly brown fur, while roof rats have a much darker shade, usually black, with a lighter underbelly. They are also set apart by size, with Norway rats being slightly larger at 18 inches, compared to the 16 inches of the roof rats.
Differences in behavior
The two rats also have some differences in behavior. As the name suggests, roof rats like to live off the ground. They look for food and shelter up in trees or in the attic of the home. Because of this, they are amazing acrobats, being able to walk on utility lines, jump great distances and survive considerable falls. In terms of diet, they are interested in fruit, seeds, and insects.
Norway rats on the other hand like to live close to the ground. They are excellent diggers, and in the wild, they will build burrows in which they will nest. In the home, they will invade the lower levels of the building, usually setting up inside wall voids. Norway rats are also considerable acrobats, but they are excellent swimmers, being able to enter the home by swimming through the pipes and out of the toilet.
Differences in control methods
The main difference in how these two rat species infest the home is the locations that they will prefer in the building. As mentioned previously, roof rats will go for the attic, and Norway rats will go for the lower levels of the home. Both species are just as dangerous, damaging the home, and spreading diseases.
They are also very similar in the control methods that are used when dealing with them. The only difference here is where the traps and poisons will be placed, since the two species will have different areas of activity.
If you’ve noticed any of the tell-tale signs of a rat infestation, contact us today and we will come over and perform an inspection in order to identify the species responsible. This will be followed by a control process that will eliminate the infestation and make your home less susceptible to infestation in the future.