The brown rat, also called the Norway or sewer rat, is the most common rat in the United States. In addition to being a major nuisance pest, the brown rat can transmit certain diseases to people and animals, and can damage or contaminate large quantities of crops and food products. While its color is variable, the brown rat is usually grayish-brown in color. Although some claim to have seen a rat as big as a cat, the average brown rat weighs less than a pound and is about 16 inches long, from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. The brown rat can be easily confused with the black or roof rat.
The brown rat is a burrower, usually nesting in ground burrows up to 150 feet from its food supply. But it’s very adaptable and once indoors can nest in wall or ceiling voids, attics, crawlspaces, or inside furniture or equipment. A young brown rat can gain entry to a building through an opening only slightly larger than 1/2-inch. Brown rats can travel along pipes or conduits, climb brick or rough walls, and can gnaw through various building materials including cinder block. They sometimes enter buildings by traveling and swimming through sewer lines.
The brown rat is nocturnal in habit and is an opportunistic omnivore, meaning it feeds on just about any kind of natural or human food. The brown rat is not just a pest of big cities. It is wily, aggressive, and adaptable. Brown rat removal usually requires multiple strategies, including rat-proofing to keep them out. Call our experts at Colonial if you have a rat problem.