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Roof Rat vs. Norway Rat: Which Invades Your Home?


When you’re dealing with a rodent infestation at home, your first instinct should be to identify the critter that’s causing you trouble. In the US, the crown for the most common rodent goes to the rat. But, these come in several different types, the prominent of which is the roof rat and the Norway rat.

Both roof rats and Norway rats can be found all over the US, from freezing Minnesota to sunny SoCal. These can be distinguished by a few of their features, like their size and their behaviors, alongside their habitats.

So, today, we’ll be pitching these two types against each other. Roof rat vs. Norway rat: which one is the cause of your troubles? Are they both dangerous? How can you get rid of either rat type? Let’s find out!

Norway Rat Size vs. Roof Rat Size

For starters, let’s see how the two rat types differ in terms of their size. With both being rats, they don’t have a distinguishable size difference, in contrast to that of the mouse and a rat, for example. But the distinction is there.

Roof rats are smaller than Norway rats, both in length and width. While both rodent types are flexible and can fit in very small holes, Norway rats are visibly chubbier.

Roof Rat Color vs. Norway Rat Color

Another distinguishable feature of the two rat types is their color. Because of their behavior and habitats, these critters have adapted and developed specific colorways that help them survive and help us tell the difference between them.

The Norway rat has a brownish-gray color all over its body, with their underbellies being of lighter colors. That’s also why these are nicknamed brown rats.

On the other hand, a roof rat has darker colors, the most common of which is black for the body. However, their underbellies tend to be a more distinct white color compared to the blend-in colorways of the Norway rats.

Are Norway Rats Dangerous

One of the most common questions we get is if rats are generally dangerous. And, while the answer to that is undeniably positive, Norway rats can harm specific areas of your property due to their behavior.

Let’s take a step back. Norway rats aren’t inclined climbers, hence why they remain on or under the ground. In turn, they can harm your car and yard and cause structural damage to the lower parts of your house. This can include plumbing lines, which could lead to flooding!

On top of that, being part of the rodent family, they can carry several deadly diseases. So, they’re dangerous, and when you combine that with their larger size, they become quite a nuisance.

Are Roof Rats Dangerous

In similar fashion, roof rats can cause a lot of damage to your house. For starters, they can also transmit a wide array of diseases that can harm your family and your pets. But that’s not the worst part.

Roof rats, as their name suggests, find shelter inside (or under) roofs. Being rodents, they’ll gnaw on everything they think looks chewable. So, they’ll initially chew through a hole or two on your roof so that they can get inside your attic.

Once they’re there, they can wreak all kinds of havoc. From chewing out power lines to destroying your attic insulation, this damage can be devastating for your pockets, both in terms of repairs and the increased electricity bill. Or, in the worst-case scenario, a short circuit could cause a full-blown fire!

How To Get Rid Of Norway Rats

So, we’ve established that all rats aren’t welcome visitors, especially when they make your house their new home. To get rid of Norway rats, you must understand their behaviors and their needs.

Like all rats, they need shelter, food, and water, albeit tiny portions of the latter. And, once you consider that they seek shelter at ground level or underground, it’s easy to find ways to get rid of them.

For starters, seal all openings that will allow them to get inside your home. Also, make sure that your yard is clean and that you don’t have any leftover pet food lying around. And, if you’re already dealing with an infestation, consider contacting your local professional rodent control company.

How To Get Rid Of Roof Rats

Getting rid of roof rats can be harder than removing Norway rats from your house. Roof rats will take over your attic, which is challenging to navigate through for most homeowners. Plus, they are great climbers and can easily jump from a tree onto your roof.

So, in a similar fashion to Norway rats, you’ll need to remove any “easy” food sources you have around your property. But, an extra step you have to take is to cut down any branches overlooking your roof to keep these critters away from it.

On top of that, consider adding some natural repellants around your house in the form of their least-liked odors.

Rat Identification and Removal, Done the Green Way

When you have to deal with a Norway rat or a roof rat, being swift and precise is key. If you can’t prevent them from nesting, you’ll need to locate their nest and attend to it immediately. But this is a dangerous process. So, you can leave this up to us!

At Green Rodent Restoration, we pride ourselves in eliminating rodent infestations humanely, the green way. Contact us now for a free estimate!

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