norway rat next to building in pittsburgh

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Have you ever wondered how Norway rats ended up in Pittsburgh? Do you imagine a little rat and his mate, sneaking onto a ship at a Norwegian shipyard that was bound for America? Well, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Norway rats actually originated in Asia, but they were first brought to England on a Norwegian ship--hence the name. Then from England, these "Norway" rats came to America.

Some interesting facts about Norway rats:

  • Norway rats are also called brown rats, sewer rats, or wharf rats.

  • Contrary to popular belief, Norway rats do not have collapsible skeletons. They are, however, able to squeeze through very small holes, even holes as small as the diameter of a quarter.

  • Norway rats can grow to be over a foot long, sometimes as long as 18 inches!

  • A female Norway rat can have up to 22 babies in one litter!

  • Norway rat droppings are about ½ an inch long and one rat will produce around 50 droppings in a day.

  • Norway rats can chew through plastic garbage cans. They also sometimes chew through wires and cause fires.

  • Norway rats live in burrows. They can even burrow through cement foundations, which can cause significant damage to buildings.

  • Norway rats are excellent climbers.

Although these creatures can be fascinating, they are not something you want living in your home or business. Eliminating the things rats are drawn to, namely food, water and shelter, will go a long way in deterring these creatures. Here are some things that will help prevent them from taking up residence where they shouldn’t be:

  • Examine the exterior of your property and seal up any gaps or cracks you find in your foundation, walls or roof area.

  • Make sure all your screens are in good working order.

  • Place screening over downspouts.

  • Eliminate standing water from your yard and make sure there are no leaks from sprinklers or spigots.

  • Trim back all trees, bushes and other vegetation that pests can use as bridges to get indoors. Do not allow creeping plants to grow up the sides of your property.

  • Keep all outside garbage in garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.

  • Store firewood well away from your house and up off the ground.

  • Eliminate debris piles and clutter from around your buildings and yard.

  • Do not leave doors open, or windows without screens.

  • Clean up food sources from your yard, such as fallen fruit or seed from bird feeders.

  • Clean up all food particles indoors and out. Clean and vacuum regularly and store all foods in the refrigerator or in tightly sealed containers. Metal containers or glass jars work well.

  • Fix all water leaks around pipes, sinks, tubs or toilets.

  • Contact a professional pest-control company.

If you are seeing Norway rats in or around your home or business, or if you are seeing telltale signs of their presence, Witt Pest Management can help. Our highly-skilled Pittsburgh pest management professionals are trained to evaluate every pest problem and create a custom-tailored plan to fit the needs of our customers. Our rodent control services provide surveillance, baiting and exclusion, Witt will make your home or business rat-free. Life is better without pests, let Witt help. Contact us today!

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