To most people, all rats look more or less the same—they’re small, furry, and fast-moving. But when you spot a rat on your property, it can be helpful to know what type of rodent you’re dealing with. In the United States, you are most likely to encounter one of two types of rats: the Norway rat and the roof rat.
Also known as the brown rat or the sewer rat, the Norway rat is a nocturnal animal that tends to stay close to the ground, hiding out in woodpiles, basements, or open fields. They can also be found prowling around the foundations of buildings or lurking in crawlspaces. If left to its own devices, the Norway rat can chew through wires, contaminate food, and spread germs wherever it goes. It’s a relatively large rat with small ears and a tail that is shorter than the rest of its body.
As its name suggests, the roof rat—or black rat—is a nimble animal that can be found on rooftops, in trees, or even hiding in ceilings or attics. Smaller than the Norway rat, it can be readily identified by its long tail. In the Middle Ages, the roof rat became notorious because it was the pest that spread the bubonic plague that killed up to 200 million people in the 14th century. While instances of bubonic plague are extremely rare in the United States, roof rats can still spread serious diseases such as hantavirus and typhus.
If you have a pest problem in your home, call the experienced professionals at Burns Pest Elimination. Our services include termite control, bird control, bed bug removal, and rodent removal. We are a family business, and we have been proudly serving Arizona for more than 25 years. To learn more about the services we provide, call (602) 971-4782 or visit us online.