NorwayRat Antonishak

Norway Rat

Rattus norvegicus

The Norway rat, or brown rat, has brownish fur and a long naked, light-colored tail 5-9 inches long. Norway rats usually weigh 7 to 17 oz.  This is an Old World species. It was brought to the US during the colonial period from Europe and are now well-established. Norway rats are all over the continental US and along the southern edge of Canada. They are active year-round and mostly nocturnal. They live where humans do. Norway rats inhabit farms, cities, sewers, and houses everywhere.

Rats are thorough omnivores. They eat whatever is edible. Grain, garbage, soap, candles, plants, insects, meat, fruit and eggs are all on the menu.  Rats breed year round with multiple litters, up to 12 for the Norway rat, a year.  These rats are not popular with humanity. They will invade and consume large amount of foods on farms. They can kill chickens. They are known to carry diseases and are closely associated with the bubonic plague and typhus. Their droppings contaminate the uneaten portions of goods where they have fed.




Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Attn: Mammal Atlas Coordinator
2001 Elmerton Avenue
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Pennsylvania Game Commission
Bureau of Wildlife Management