Norwegian Rat Facts And History

The majority of the rats that may be found in urban areas are Norway rats. These small rodents are probably all too familiar to you if you have ever lived next door to a construction site in a city that was undergoing excavation or destruction.

If you want to know more about their facts and history, then you have come to the right place. Here in this article, we will help you to learn more about them and if you are facing a rat infestation in your house then you can call a professional like

Norwegian Rat Facts And History
Norwegian Rat Facts And History

What Are the Physical Attributes of Norway Rats?

Adult Norway rats have a grayish-white underbelly, a large and stocky body, and a brown coat with occasional black hairs strewn about in random patterns. The total length of an adult may range anywhere between ten and twelve inches, including the tail.

The Norwegian rat has a tail that is much shorter than the rest of its body, and its ears and tail are both completely hairless and coated in scales.

Short History of Norway Rats

The fact that this species of rat has a Norwegian name leads one to believe that it is native to Norway. On the other hand, that is not the case. Asia is the birthplace of this particular species. It is not exactly known why the name Norway rat stuck, but the common assumption is that John Berkenhout, an English naturalist, attributed the name Rattus norvegicus, or the Norway rat, to this species because of the belief that the rat migrated to England from Norway in 1728.

This is the reason why the name Rattus norvegicus, or the Norway rat, has stuck. The origin of this species has been the subject of much speculation throughout the course of its history, with some researchers believing that it originated in Ireland, Gibraltar, or Persia. It wasn’t until the 20th century that naturalists came to the realization that the species originated in central Asia, most likely China.

Prior to that, they were under the impression that it came from Europe. We do not know if the rats traveled from land to land or from sea to land, but we do know that the brown rat arrived in Europe as early as the year 1553 and in North America between the years 1750 and 1755. Since then, it has been able to cover the whole of the North American continent, both horizontally and vertically, from coast to coast. Because of this, spotting them is more common.

Some Known Facts About Norway Rats

Here are some of the facts about Norway Rats-

  1. A common misconception is that Norway rats originated in Norway. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife claims that the Norway rat is really an Asian species that made its way to England through Norwegian ships.
  2. The bones of Norway rats do not compress. Because of their tiny size and ability to slip through tight spaces, people have long believed that Norway rats had collapsible bones. Norway rats, on the other hand, share a skeleton like other mammals in that it is composed of bone and cartilage. Norway rats are huge and fatty, so they won’t fit through openings that are just half an inch wide.
  3. The feces of a Norway rat is about half an inch in length. Again, rat droppings are a telltale symptom of a Norway rat infestation, as stated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Each rat may produce 50 droppings daily. Norway rat feces are around half an inch in length and blunted, according to reports.
  4. Norway rats have good climbing abilities. They can scale walls with ease. Cutting down vegetation and preventing creeping plants like ivy from climbing the exterior of buildings will deter Norway rats from using them as climbing surfaces. Norway rats are notorious for destroying bird nests, thus it is important to install tree guards to stop them from reaching the nests.

To know more about rats, read our articles Is there a poison that kills rats instantly? and Do Rats And Mice Like Salt?