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Norway Rat

Norway RatPhysical Characteristics

The adult Norway rat is about 7″ to 9 1/2″ with a tail length of 6″ to 18″ long. Fur is coarse and shaggy, and color is usually brown with scattered black hairs with underside being gray to yellowish white. The Norway rat has a blunt muzzle, small ears and eyes.


Norway rats are well known for damaging and destroying material by gnawing; they also eat and contaminate stored food. Its bite is also a risk to humans as they are a vector or carrier of diseases.

The Norway rat is nocturnal and, unlike mice, they shy away from new objects introduced into their territory. The Norway rat’s nesting preference is the lower parts of structures, such as basements, in piles of debris and/or merchandise but has also been found outdoors on or around riverbanks, railroad embankments, piles of rubbish and under concrete slabs.

The Norway rat is an opportunistic feeder and although they will feed on anything, they do prefer meat, fish and cereal.

Disease Carriers

Norway rats may carry or contribute to the following:

  • Salmonella
  • Cowpox Virus
  • Jaundice/leptospirosis/Weil’s Disease
  • Trichinosis
  • Plague


The control of rodents can be widely varied, depending on the individual situation. Covering holes, filling cracks, baiting or trapping may be necessary. The trained Clark’s Technician will determine the best means of control for each customer.