Norway Rat


Actual Size: 16” long including the tail

Characteristics: Robust bodies. Typically grayish-brown can be reddish-brown to blackish.

Habitat: Known to create 6.5 feet long burrows along property lines and gardens. Will nest in basements and crawl spaces of homes.


  • Norway rats are most active at dawn and dusk, and overnight.
  • These rats typically nest in burrows or pre-existing holes outdoors
  • Norway rat droppings are ¾” and capsule-shaped with blunt ends.

Norway Rats in Central Florida

Norway rats are larger than mice, and therefore need more space to build nests, they will most likely keep a burrow outdoors and venture inside to forage for food. These rats are extremely territorial, and will even kill mice that compete with them for food and shelter. Their droppings are much larger, around 3/4″, and combined with shed hair and dander can be a significant source of indoor allergens. Historically, rat urine is responsible for the spread of leptospirosis, a disease that can damage the liver and kidneys. They have also been known to carry typhus, hantavirus, and salmonellosis. Wild Norway rats are also an indirect method of introducing a potential flea or tick infestation into your home.

Norway Rat Habitat

Norway rats prefer to burrow in the ground. They construct burrows that are 2 to 3 inches in diameter and up to 6.5 feet in length. Burrows are constructed outdoors beside foundations and gardens. Norway rats are nocturnal and will enter homes at night in search of food, returning back to their burrow. If nests are found inside homes, they are typically in basements and crawl spaces. When there is a serious infestation, Norway rats will nest in upper areas of a home or structure.

Norway Rat Habits & Dangers

Out of the many rats, Norway rats are known to be some of the most destructive nuisance rodents for homeowners. Not only can they damage foundations, slabs, garden crops, and plants as they burrow, their gnawing habits can be dangerous as well. Inside homes, Norway rats may cause extensive damage when nesting in walls and attics. Accounts of rodents starting fires through the gnawing of electrical wires have been widely reported. Chewed, exposed wires inside walls can spark, causing interior walls to catch fire. When foraging for food, these rats consume and contaminate food meant for humans, pets, and livestock. In doing so, they can contaminate food and possibly spread dangerous germs and bacteria.

As soon as you notice Norway rats in your Orlando area property, it’s best to contact your local rodent control experts.