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Louisville's Guide To The Norway Rat

a norway rat stealing seeds

Are you familiar with what a Norway rat is? It is a brown rat that burrows in the dirt, travels in sewers, and explores city streets at night. This is why they're also called brown rats, sewer rats and street rats. These rats are highly intelligent animals and opportunistic foragers. If they find easy access to food in your Louisville yard or home, they will take advantage of it, especially in the winter when food is scarce outside. When presented with a problem to solve to get to food resources, Norway rats are quick to solve them. If you want to avoid all the problems winter rodents bring, you should know what you're up against. Here are some common questions about Norway rats in Louisville that will give you the insight you need to help safeguard your property and your health.

What Will Attract Rats?

  • Food — There are many things that rats feed on. Open trash is a strong attractant for Norway rats because the smells are potent. Birdseed on the ground will make for a quick snack. Food left on or near a grill can be an enticing treat. Rats also eat bugs. The fewer bugs you have, the fewer rats you're likely to have. A good pest control program can help with reducing bug populations around your home.
  • Water — Puddles in your yard are like watering holes for Norway rats. Remove conditions that allow puddles to form to reduce rat activity.
  • Harborage — Objects in your yard that provide places to hide or live in will draw rats in. This might be toys, construction materials, stacks of crates, firewood, or a structure on your property, such as a shed, barn or outbuilding. Remove or stow away lawn clutter and protect voids under structures by installing fencing. Be sure to put fencing at least a foot underground to prevent Norway rats from burrowing under.

How Dangerous Are Rats?

  • They chew holes to get in, which can allow other pests to enter. Also, rainwater can get in and cause mold issues.
  • They chew through wood and sheetrock to create access holes to food-storage areas inside your home.
  • They rip up insulation, wallpaper and other building materials for their nests.
  • When they come in, they can bring ticks, fleas, lice, mites and other parasites in with them.
  • When they get into food-storage areas, they chew through packaging and contaminate food with harmful bacteria, parasitic worms and pathogens.
  • Rats soak areas with their urine and leave their droppings in many places.
  • They are linked to several illnesses including Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, Hantavirus, cowpox virus, rat-bite fever, trichinosis, Salmonellosis and the plague.

How Do We Keep Rats Away?

Along with removing attractants and installing fences, good yard maintenance can help to keep rodents away.

  • Trim your grass low.
  • Remove unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping.
  • Pull weeds.
  • Trim bushes and shrubs.

Doing these things helps to make your yard feel less "safe" to Norway rats.

Do Norway Rats Live Alone?

If you see a Norway rat in your yard, there are likely many rats on your property. There can be as many as 6 rats per burrow and Norway rats get along well with each other. There can be hundreds living in the same location. Along with this, rats are nocturnal creatures that prefer to avoid the light and avoid people in general. They don't prefer to be seen.

How Do You Control Rats In Louisville?

There are several steps you can take beyond what has already been mentioned. You can repair and cover holes, gaps and cracks that rats can get in through. You can apply metal flashing to locations that are vulnerable. The best way to control rats is through the implementation of traps. These should be tamper-resistant and deployed by a professional. When traps are applied wrong, they can be completely ineffective and you won't know that they're failing to do their job until rats have caused more problems.
For assistance with Norway rat control in Louisville, call the rodent control experts at Action Pest Control. We have a solid track record for protecting families in Louisville from rodent problems. Reach out today.