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Oh, Rats! Difference Between the Norway & Roof Rat


While rats are a year round problem, they look for warm places to nest during the cooler months and often includes our garages and attics. There are numerous openings on a home where rats can find an entry point, which our pest control department can help identify and seal up.


Common Rat Species in Texas

There are two types of rats that are most common in Texas. One is the Norway rat (or Norwegian rat), which tends to nest in the ground, and the other is the Roof rat, which will nest in your home or workplace.

Initial sighting of a furry rodent generally leads to putting out traps or poisons. While these are possible temporary solutions, they don’t block the areas that these rodents are entering from, which can leave an open-ended invitation for more rats to enter.


Norway & Roof Rats – Size Matters

The Roof rat has a well-defined face with a small nose. His ears are rounder and wider than those of the Norwegian rat. Roof rats will walk fence lines, power lines and climb on trees to access your property, which accounts for their smaller more agile feet.

Norway rats often burrow in the ground and can enter the structure through open doors, pet doors and vents (like the dryer vent) that lead into the home. If you store your yard working materials in the garage, it’s a good idea to close the garage door after you remove the lawnmower or weed eater, until you’re ready to put it back again.

Leaving the garage door open for lengths of time is considered an open invitation to the Norwegian rat. If the garage is cluttered, it’s much less likely you’ll actually see where your new resident is hiding when you put away the yard tools.


Both of these rodents use a form of communication called urine marking. Urine marking is a scented trail that gives other rodents information as to the breed and sex of the rat. The Roof rat and the Norway rat are also constant chewers since their teeth never stop growing. This can cause major damage to the structure, siding, electrical wiring and any PVC piping in the attic.