How to Identify Norway Rats


Rats can range in size from 13-18” in length, and in color from light brown to black. Two rats, the Norway rat and the Roof rat are two of several species.

The Norway Rat (pictured above) has a blunt snout and ears that are small and covered with hairs. The Norway rat lives in burrows outdoors or in and around stored items, wall voids and attics. The tail is dark on top and pale beneath.

The Roof Rat has a pointed snout and the ears are large and nearly naked. This rat may live outdoors in trees or inside structures. The tail is uniformly dark.


Watch for:
• droppings
• sightings of rats themselves (live or dead)
• tracks
• damage to food or food packaging
• growing damage and gnawing sounds
• burrows
• rodent odors


Rats are medically important because they are known to carry many diseases such as food poisoning, rat bite fever, Weil’s disease, rickettsial diseases, and plague. Rats have also been known to bite.

Their gnawing habits can damage property and lead to fires if they grow on wire insulation. Their droppings contaminate food and surroundings, and their burrows damage landscape and can lead to erosion.


Exclusion and sanitation measures provide solutions to rodent pest management. Exclusion involves eliminating dead spaces, cracks, crevices, and other openings so pests cannot hide in or enter buildings.

Sanitation involves eliminating food, harborage, and water sources. Common food sources around the home include pet foods, birdseed, as well as garden seed. Harborage reduction can be accomplished by eliminating undesirable vegetations next to buildings, stored lumber, rock piles, old equipment and construction materials.


A professional treatment is the best way to control rats in a given area. Cook’s Pest Control offers professional treatment for the control of rats. Our technicians are thoroughly trained to address your rat problems.

Don’t waste time and money on over-the-counter remedies or unprofessional service. Call Cook’s, the South’s reliable pest control service. We provide free pest identification and free inspections for rats with no obligation!

About Rodents

  • Both mice and rats invade a home looking for food and warmth.
  • They can contaminate more food than they actually eat.
  • Rats often start colonies in attics or under porches – and they’re harder to eliminate than mice.