Great, you’ve spotted a rat on your property, now what!? First of all, rat problems don’t necessarily mean you aren’t tidy. Rats are just a byproduct of living in the Pacific Northwest. Second of all, you aren’t alone. The United States is seeing a resurgence of rodents, especially in urban areas. Norway rats and Roof rats are common rodents in the Pacific Northwest and they are very different species.

How to Distinguish a Norway Rat from a Roof Rat

Next time you see a rat on your property, try to remember what it looked like. While it may be difficult to correctly identify a rat species, Roof rats and Norway rats generally have distinct characteristics.

  • Roof rats, also known as ship rats and black rats are smaller than Norway rats and lighter in color– usually a light gray. They are typically no longer than 7 inches, not including their tail. Roof rats also have a longer tail, a pointy snout, and longer ears than Norway rats.
  • Norway rats, also called sewer rats, brown rats, and wharf rats are much larger, and darker in color– which ranges from a grayish brown to reddish-brown. Norway rats can also weigh over one pound, which is twice as heavy as a Roof rat. They also have shorter tails.

That’s quite the difference in characteristics, especially size! If you are unable to spot the rodent again, another useful trait to help determine which species you are dealing with are their habits.

Norway Rat Habits Vs Roof Rat Habits

Just like everything else, location is everything when it comes to identifying a Roof rat from a Norway rat.

  • Roof rats, like their name, love roofs and anywhere else high. They’ll crawl across tree branches that hang above roofs and sneak in through windows or attics.
  • Norway rats nest in the ground or near it. They like to stay low. You’ll commonly see Norway rats in garages, sewers, and crawlspaces. These are typical ways they gain access to homes.

How Does This Help For Rat Control?

If we are able to determine which type of rat you have, we can focus our pest control techniques accordingly. For example, if you have Roof rats, we will want to treat areas like your attic, not your basement or crawl space.

Effective Pest Control for Norway Rats vs Roof Rats

Both species of rats are problematic. Rodents are not only vectors for various diseases, but they can also cause significant damage to your home and belongings, which is why a rodent infestation should be addressed sooner, rather than later. If you have a rodent problem or any other pest issue, contact United Pest Solutions, we’ll take care of your pest problem quickly, efficiently, and most importantly successfully!