The Norway Rat

Your Chicagoland Guide on Norway Rats

The Breakdown

COLOR

SIZE

LEGS

DANGER/DESTRUCTION RATING

Brown/Gray

40 cm

Four

Moderate HIGH

The Norway Rat

Norway rats are a lot bigger than mice and can weigh up to 1.5 pounds. These rats are brown to gray in color and are covered in hair. Their tails alone can reach up to 21 cm in length and have scale like features. The droppings that you may see are capsule shaped and can be found in areas that they travel. Norway rats rarely come out during the day as they are in hiding and usually wait for night time hours to scavenge for food. These omnivorous creatures can eat just about anything from fruits to other rodents. They must drink water to live and for that reason, they always build their nests somewhere close to a water source. They reproduce extremely quickly with females having about 3-12 litters each year. In each litter, they can produce anywhere from 4-22 babies.

Signs of an Infestation

There aren’t many signs that point to a Norway Rat infestation, but if you have a problem it will be pretty obvious. Norway rats hardly ever come out of their hiding spaces because they don’t like to be disturbed. If you see them come out during the day, this will be one of the first signs of an infestation. If there is a sighting, it could be an indication of overpopulation in their nesting area. You may also notice rat droppings in or around your home which will be anywhere from 18-20cm long with hair embedded in them. Another thing to look out for are gnaw marks on household items, food or utility lines.

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Understanding the Seasons

Weather has a profound effect on pest life cycle. Most pests, rodents and insects breed aggressively during spring and go through periods of hibernation during autumn and winter.

When the weather slowly begins to heat up, pests start to get more active after having stayed dormant over the colder winter months.

  • Birds often start to find mates and start building their nests.
  • Moths which consumer leaves usually become active again.
  • Flies often emerge from their winter hibernation places and start to breed and spread out.
  • Squirrels also spend the winter in hibernation. When spring approaches these creatures start looking for a new home. This is usually the time when they make their way into lofts and other spaces.

Summer is arguably the best season for pests. It is the time when they are in full swing and breed as rapidly as they can. Wasps are one of the most common summer pests followed by flies and rodents. Many a summer picnics and BBQs have been ruined by the ‘home invasion’ of these pests.

  • Wasps build their nesting grounds and lay their eggs during this time. Although the creatures are not directly harmful, they can be very aggressive and territorial at this time of the year, because they’re at their strongest.
  • The number of fleas also multiplies. Since pets spend more time outdoors during summer, they are more likely to bring the pests back indoors with them.
  • Bees are also more active during summer as they go out to gather nectar. Many times, homeowners find a new beehive in their garden and require pest control to take care of it. Because of their sting, bees are more dangerous than some of the other pests and you should call our professional service to get rid of them.
  • Moths and flies usually start to multiply significantly during summer.
  • Ants begin to swarm to find new mates and start new colonies during summer.
  • Cockroaches become very noticeable in the summer, especially in the kitchen and toilets. This is due to the hotter temperatures and stronger smells.
  • Bedbugs are also very active in the summer.

Autumn is the month when things start to get cooler. The number of pests starts to dwindle as they begin to slow down their breeding activities.

  • Wasps start becoming dozy and docile. You may find them buzzing around occasionally as if they are drunk. This is usually the end-time for their life.
  • Spiders in particular are more active at this time of the year.
  • Squirrels will gather their food and start to look for shelter.
  • The second breeding phase for flies begins. These pests remain active during the season.
  • Rodents also become more active. Due to the approaching cold, rodents usually find shelter inside homes in the loft or inside walls.

The coldest months are when pests seek out warmth and shelter. You will find a number of insects especially rodents and lizards make their way inside your home.

  • Spiders come into our homes to escape the web-destroying frosts.
  • Rodents move indoors to escape the cold, increasing infestations.
  • In many cases, homeowners find squirrels nesting in lofts when they go to get their Christmas decorations.

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