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Norway Rats 101 – Things You Should Know About the Rodents in the Sewer

Are you seeing signs of rodents in your home this winter? You could have mice, or you could be playing host to the Norway rat – Arlington’s most common rat. Here are some facts that might help you prevent an infestation:

What’s the Norway rat?

The Norway rat – or sewer rat, as it’s better known – was introduced to North America by European settlers in the late 1700’s, and has done quite well for itself since then – thriving in all 48 of the contiguous United States. Average adults weigh 1 pound on average and can grow from 12 to 18 inches long.


Norway rats love humans, so are generally found in lower elevation areas. They generally eat, sleep, breed, and live out their lives under the safe shelter of human-built structures, including homes, barns, granaries, stores, sewers, and warehouses.


Do humans consume it? Then it’s probably good enough for the Norway rat. Cereals, meats, nuts, fruits, and anything in your garbage can provide Norway rats with all they need to live a long and healthy life (which for them is 5 to 12 months). They also love pet food.


Norway rats don’t have a “breeding season” – they proliferate year-round. The average female can give birth to 4-7 litters per year, with 8-12 pups per litter. Do the math – that’s a lot of babies in one lifetime.

Other facts

  • Norway rats can squeeze through holes as small as a quarter.
  • Norway rat droppings are ½ inch long, and they can produce as many as 50 per day.
  • Norway rats are good climbers. If you have tree limbs or creeping plants touching your home, consider cutting them down to reduce your risk of an infestation.
  • If you suspect you have a Norway rat infestation, don’t hesitate to call in the experts. Green Pest Services can help you eliminate the problem safely and effectively – contact us today!