Norway rats are an ancient species. They have been around for a very long time, surviving numerous attempts to exterminate them. This means that there is a lot more to these creatures than at first meets the eye. Here are some things you may not know about Norway rats:
They have big families
Rats organize themselves socially into family groups which can get quite large. In one study on the Norway rat, researchers found that a single burrow system can contain over 150 individual rats, which means that these burrows can become quite complex. Each burrow system also has multiple entries, so when you catch one rat or discover only one of these entry points, odds are that there are a lot more lurking in the shadows.
They are a competitive species
Roof rats were the rats that reached North America first, and they were widespread and well established across most of the continent. However, when Norway rats came by ship from Europe, they had the advantage of breeding slightly faster and giving birth to more baby rats per litter. Bit by bit, the Norway rat out-birthed the roof rat and pushed it mostly in the southern portions of the US and around coastal cities. Recently though, researchers found that the two species have begun to coexist peacefully, if there is enough food in an area. Even house mice are joining the party and sharing the space with the rats, if the three species have access to ample food supplies.
They use tools
Rats are fairly smart animals. They have to be, because they have to survive as a fragile prey animal. One of the signs of their intelligence is their ability to not only use tools, but to learn how to use new tools and improve at using them over time. They are also capable of helping each other out, even when the individual helping has no benefit from doing so. These traits make them more difficult to control.
When all of these factors come together, you get a very resilient pest that is able to survive many control efforts. If you are having trouble with eliminating a Norway rat infestation, we can help you out. Get in touch with us today to set up an appointment, or with any questions that you may have about the rat control process.