Norway rats are known for being poor climbers and are typically found infesting ground levels of homes, businesses, and other buildings. Even though Norway rats like to live with or near people in order to feed on things like fish, dry cereal, pet food, and garbage, they are shy and reclusive and are rarely seen by people, especially during the day. Norway rats typically suffer from neophobia, (fear of anything new or unfamiliar) making trapping and baiting more difficult, because when a new bait or trap is introduced to their environment, the rat will not associate with the trap or bait until it feels comfortable with it. Norway rats are nocturnal and during the day will hide in basements, under piles of debris, in crawl spaces, and in wood piles.
Norway rats have very poor eyesight so they use their whiskers in order to feel their way around their environment. They will follow the same path or “runway” from their nest to food source, leaving behind grease marks and dirt from their fur along walls and other objects.
Norway rats have very powerful jaws and teeth that can chew through and damage almost anything including pipes, flooring, and drywall. Structural damages from rats can lead to fires and water leaks. They will also damage personal items like furniture and clothing; they will also contaminate your property, pantry areas, food prep areas, and/or inventory with their urine and feces. Norway rats are known to build burrows under sidewalks, decks, garages, sheds, and the foundations of buildings.