Rats Can Be Very Bad News

The type of rat most associated with Connecticut homes is the Norway Rat, Rattus norvegicus. They can weigh up to a pound, but very large ones may weigh up to two pounds. They have brown or gray shaggy fur with scaly ears and tails. The tail is shorter than the body and head of the animal.

brown norway rat in a flowerbox
Norway rats are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the daytime.

Norway rats usually nest outside of your home and enter your home searching for food. They are nocturnal and don't like to be out during the day. They will eat practically anything, from meat to fruit, grain and nuts. They will also eat carrion and can catch small fish and other rodents. They try to make their nests near a source of water.

Given enough food, rats can quickly overwhelm you.

They have litters depending on the quantity of food that is available. If food is scarce they'll have three annually. If food is plentiful they may have 4-7 litters per year of up to eight to twelve babies. That's over 80 rats from one female in the space of a year! Rats tend to live for a year in the wild and are mature in as little as two months. A fast-breeding rat population can grow exponentially, totaling over 1,000 within one year.

One doesn't usually see Norway rats unless they are driven out of hiding spaces through a disturbance or due to overpopulation. You may see their gnaw markings on food or other objects like utility lines. You may also see rub marks or grease stains along walls or corners and you may see their droppings, which are blunt and about ¾ inches long scattered along pathways. They are very adaptable and can live in basements, crawl spaces, attics and sewers as well as in the soil beneath buildings, in embankments and near tree roots.

Control begins with prevention

If you suspect that you have rats in your home, we recommend you close off any possible entry points, like air vents, gaps where sewer pipes enter and exit your home, and any opening as small as a quarter. Rats can also enter your home by climbing trees and coming in through holes in soffits, broken vents and screens and other ingresses. Pick up any food source that may feed opportunistic rats, like pet foods, wild bird seed, standing water and moisture leaks. Any food source for rats should be in sealed metal containers with tight lids. Take out your trash and dispose of it properly outside of your home.

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If you have a rat infestation, setting out rat traps yourself usually doesn't work. Rats tend to avoid unfamiliar objects, even if they are baited, so you need our help. We will make sure the rats are gone from your home and will look for and point out entrances for rats in your home so that you can take care of them.

Rats can carry many serious and dangerous diseases, so call us right away if you suspect that you have rats.