We’ve had to live with Norway rats for at least a few hundred years, and you’d think that by now, we’d know everything there is to know about them. However, these pests can still surprise us. Here are some little known facts about the Norway rat:
Rats are tribal creatures
Rats are social animals, and their social circle is composed of their families, which can be quite large. One study showed that Norway rats can live in colonies of more than 150 individuals within a burrow system. Some burrow systems can be very complex because of the large number of individuals, with different areas designed for certain activities, such as nursing the young, and storing food. This often means that when you have a rat problem, you are rarely dealing with just one rat.
Norway rats cause worse infestation than roof rats
Norway rats are the most common rat species in home infestation, followed by roof rats. This is because Norway rats are more prolific at breeding than other species, giving birth to more litters per year. They are also more adept at finding food and shelter, and surviving indoors.
Roof rats were actually the first of the two species to arrive on the North American continent, but they were quickly outcompeted by the Norway rat, and their populations were reduced successfully with control efforts, to the point where roof rats are now found mostly in southern regions and near coastal cities.
Rats are capable of using tools
The ability to use tools is a fairly strong indicator of intelligence in animals. Rats have been shown to have this ability in laboratory studies, where they would use tools to obtain food. Not only that, but they are also able to learn over time and improve their skills. This is why controlling a rat infestation can be quite difficult. Rats are also known to avoid traps, especially if they see one of their own dying due to one.
Getting rid of Norway rats
Their ability to reproduce quickly, combined with their intelligence, makes Norway rats one of the hardest rodents to get rid of once they set up inside the home. DIY efforts will mostly fall flat if you do not manage to remove an entire colony in one go, so having a pest control pro remove the infestation for you is the best solution to a rat problem. Contact us today if you have a Norway rat infestation in your home.