An adult Roof rat can weigh 5 to 10 ounces or more, their tail can reach more than 11 cm, and their body length can go from 13 to 18 inches or more. Adult roof rats are known to have shorter and smaller bodies with tails that are larger than their body size.
Pup Roof rats are born without hair and their eyes are shut. At birth, they can weigh 4 to 6 grams per rat.
An adult Norway rat can weigh 7 to 10 ounces or more, their tail can also be longer than 11 cm, and their body size can span a whopping 20 inches. Adult Norway rats have a very large and stocky body size with a tail that is smaller than their body.
Norway rat pups are born hairless and not fully developed. They have a birth weight of 5 to 6 grams each.
Is a Roof rat or a Norway rat bigger?
The Norway rat is, by far, the larger rat when compared to the Roof rat. They will get up to 20 inches in size and are meaty and stocky in appearance. This largeness also makes them much slower than their athletic cousins the Roof rat.
The Roof rat is clearly the smaller sized rat in comparison to the Norway rat; however, the Roof rat does, in fact, have a much longer tail than the Norway rat. They are also much quicker, jump farther, and climb higher than Norway rats.
Where can a rat fit?
Adult rats like the Norway and Roof rat are able to fit anywhere their head can fit. Once their head fits, they can stuff their bodies to fit inside small spaces, holes, and underneath doors that a gap of a ½ inch. Rats can get into anywhere where there are gaps, windows, pipes, inside walls, attics, basements, and beneath the foundation of a building.
Smaller and independent young rats can fit in a ¼ inch of space to wiggle through to get from place to place. They aren’t as big, strong, and athletic as adult rats, but can still cause a ruckus. Sometimes young rats are mistaken for mice. Don’t let them fool you.
Do rats ever stop growing?
The good news is, adult rats do have a limit to how long they can get. However, if they have a steady and abundant food source, they will grow larger in weight. The really bad news is that a rat’s teeth don’t ever stop growing. They counteract their rapid tooth growth by chewing on hard objects and food to wear them down. Without this constant chewing, rats’ teeth will overgrow and kill them from the inside out.
Do rats live in groups?
Yes, rats, especially Norway rats, can live in colonies or groups of up to 5 or more rats. Norway rat colonies favor living at the ground level where there are trees, bushes, flowers, gardens, ponds, orchards, near trash, farms, and below building foundations. You’ll find them digging holes deep into the ground. These holes lead to burrows or tunnels that vary in length, with chambers that also vary in size. These chambers house a mix of adult, young, and newborn or pup rats.
How many pups or litters can a rat produce?
Female adult Roof rats can give birth to 5 to 8 pup rats for every litter they have. They can birth up to 5 litters a year.
Female adult Norway rats can birth a litter of 6 to 12 pup Norway rats. They are able to have up to 6 litters a year.
How long do rats live?
One Roof rat or Norway rat can have a lifespan of 1 to 2 or more years. If you multiply this amount of time by the amount of potential successful rats in a litter, you’ve got a major problem for years to come if you don’t get the problem fixed right away. If you lay traps or hire an exterminator, their life expectancy will drop considerably and they’ll be eliminated.
How can I prevent rats from growing out of control?
You can remove their food sources
Store your food, as well as pet food, in storage containers that won’t easily get bitten into. Cardboard and feed bags are easy for rats to chew through.
Clean up any messes
If your yard, garden, home, or business has things laying around, rats will love it. Rats will build a home out of materials that are found wherever they can get to. Norway rats love to make homes and burrow beneath piles of leaves, compost, garbage, and anything else. If you’re a business owner that has a stock of food supplies, put your food on a stack of pallets that are away from the floor.
Dry up or fix water leaks
If you have a leaky water hose, bird bath, or a leaky pipe beneath the house, rats will drink from it. If you or your child drink from the hose in hot weather, think twice before doing it again.
Keep your trees, shrubs, bushes, and crops maintained
Overgrowth will give rats a jumping board, home, and travel way to keep searching for food and supplies.
Close off access to pipes and trees
Purchase products that can be used to prevent rats from being able to reach and climb onto pipes and trees. These include metal tree trunk rat stoppers and pipe guards. Without intervention, rats will use these as a means of travel and escape.
There are professionals who know how to handle the species of rat you have and know which areas are susceptible to rat holes and tunnels. They will do all the hard work for you, including killing filthy rats.
One Roof or Norway rat can leave behind 25,000 fecal droppings a year. Don’t let one adult rat grow into a thriving colony, do something about it. Make sure to clean and organize your living or work space. Be proactive and seek out ways to prevent them from reproducing, feeding, drinking, and living on your property.