The Norway rat is perhaps the most famous rat in the world. It is definitely the most widespread commensal rat species, and despite the fact that it is so ubiquitous, there are still surprising facts about this rat that are unknown to most people. In this article, we’re going to go over these facts and how they impact the control process.
They live in family groups
A Norway rat infestation is basically a large rat colony or tribe, where all the rats are related to each other. In one study, researchers found that one of these rat families can reach up to 150 members in a single burrow system. The nests themselves get increasingly complex as they grow, with specialized areas for different activities. Once the nest inside the home becomes really large, the rats will become bolder, and start foraging out in the open during day time, which is when you might spot one rummaging around. If this happens, you have a major infestation on your hand.
They outcompete all other rat species
Whenever Norway rats enter an environment, they are able to outcompete all the other rat species and become dominant in that ecosystem. In the US, the most relevant example is that of the roof rat vs. the Norway rat. Roof rats were the first species to reach the North American continent from Europe and they were well established across the land. However, when Norway rats arrived, they started to breed faster than roof rats, and they were better at foraging and finding shelter. Soon enough, the Norway rat pushed the roof rat out of most of the territory, leaving the latter confined to the southern portions of the US and around coastal cities.
They can use tools
Norway rats are quite intelligent, and they are capable of taking full advantage of their environments to ensure that they manage to survive. In numerous lab studies, researchers have found that Norway rats are actually smart enough to use tools in order to reach their food sources. In one experiment, the researchers managed to teach rats to drive small plastic cars in order to get food, which is quite the achievement.
So as you can see, there’s more to the Norway rat than meets the eye, and some of the facts in these articles are why these rats are so prolific. If you would like to know more information about the Norway rat, or if you have a Norway rat infestation in your home, contact us today.