How Dangerous Are Brown Rats In Phoenix?

A Norway rat standing on a wooden post.

Norway rats, otherwise known as brown rats, are some of our smartest and longest-known animal foes throughout the ages. And, they can cause big problems for Phoenix property owners today. Human history's complicated relationship with the Norway rat has led to its spread throughout the continents as a pest dependent on humans for food and as a model organism for medical and scientific research. Not only are Norway rats one of the preferred animal species for research that has saved thousands of lives, but they are also a popular parent of the domesticated rat known as the "fancy rat" that many pet owners know and love today.

The reasons for selecting brown rats as research organisms are because they reproduce quickly, cost little to keep alive, and are seemingly everywhere.

What Does a Norway Rat Look Like?

As one of the largest rat species, Norway Rats are pretty easy to distinguish from other species you may see in your home or business. As this species can be more aggressive than the others, it's important to know how to identify them.

Norway Rats:

  • Brown with scattered black hairs on its back and a gray to white underside
  • Grow to 9 and ½ inches long
  • Long, heavy-bodied 
  • Blunt muzzles
  • Tails are shorter than the length of their head and bodies together
  • Small eyes and ears
  • Chew everything
  • Leave rough bite marks or holes in timbers and walls
  • Leave greasy and dark rub marks on their frequent pathways
  • Stack rummaged through food and packages in their burrows
  • Prefer nesting in dark, secluded areas like basements and attics
  • Cause strange noises at night like scratching in the walls or ceiling
  • Leave capsule-shaped feces

A wild Norway rat can not only cause structural damage to your home and loss of food, but they also carry a handful of diseases such as jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis, and salmonellosis. 

How To Prevent a Brown Rat Infestation

Rats and other rodents can fit through incredibly small holes to infiltrate your home. About the size of a dime is all it takes for them to shimmy inside. The first step in preventing them from coming inside is to do a perimeter check and fill in any holes, cracks, and entry points with silicon-based caulk. However, since they are powerful chewers, you also want to try the following prevention tips.

  • Keep woodpiles stored at least twenty feet away from your house.
  • Keep outside trash sealed and away from your home and inside garbage sealed and regularly taken out.
  • Eliminate any sources of standing or available water by fixing leaking pipes or holes where water collects.
  • Store food products in sealed plastic containers.

While these prevention tips will make your home less of a target to pests like rodents, the best way to protect your house from destructive, disease-carrying pests is to enlist the help of professionals.

White Knight Pest Control Can Protect Your Phoenix Home From Brown Rats

Regular visits from White Knight Pest Control is the best prevention method for all pests, but especially for pests as dangerous to your health as rats. Sometimes at-home prevention methods aren't enough, and infestations can get out of control quickly. At White Knight Pest Control, thorough is the name of the game. We will inspect every corner of your property, eliminate pest threats, and prevent future ones. Regular visits will maintain your peace of mind and your safety. Call White Knight Pest Control or visit us online today for your free estimate.