What Are the Differences Between a Roof Rat and a Norway Rat?

What Are the Differences Between a Roof Rat and a Norway Rat?

There are two main species of rats that cause the most problems in the US – the roof rat and the Norway rat. These two species share some similarities, but they are different enough to the point where they require different approaches to control. Let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between these two species.

The roof rat

The roof rat is also known as the black rat. Both names indicate key characteristics of this species. The “roof” part of the name refers to the areas of the home that these rats usually infest, and the “black” part refers to their dark fur. In nature, these rats will seek refuge up in trees and high bushes, and when they enter the home, they will infest the attic and the upper levels of the home. Roof rats are also excellent acrobats, to the point where they can climb vertical surfaces, travel across electric lines, and jump very long distances.

The Norway rat

The Norway rat does not come from Norway, despite the name. It actually originates from Asia and it slowly spread around the world over the centuries thanks to human commerce. This rat is slightly bigger than the roof rat and has brown or light gray fur. Unlike roof rats, Norway rats prefer to stay close to the ground, where they will build their burrows. When infesting the home, they will be most comfortable in the basement, or in the wall voids of the lower levels of the home. They will also look to enter the home through gaps and cracks that are near the foundation of the building.

How they are controlled differently

Both rat species are controlled with the same methods – traps and poisons. The only difference between the two is their location in the home. This will impact where the traps and the poisons are placed, with roof rat infestations having to be treated in the upper part of the home and Norway rats having to be targeted in the lower levels. Outside of that, the control process is pretty much the same. The two species have the same diet and similar behavior patterns, to the point where you do not really need to tailor the control process that much. For more information on these two species, or if you have an infestation that has to be removed, contact us today.