Norway Rat - School IPM - USU Extension

    Norway Rat

    Rattus norvegicus

    Norway rat

    Norway rat (National Park Service, Wikimedia Commons)

    norway rat

    Norway rat (Tomas Cekanavicius, Wikimedia Commons)

    Norway rat

    Norway rat (David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons)


    • average length is 16 inches
    • gray to reddish brown; typically grayish brown

    Nesting Habits

    • nest in burrows in the ground
    • like low-growing vegetation, rock piles, etc.
    • very common under concrete slabs


    • highly varied: any food product, trash, carrion, etc.


    • can transmit disease; human health concern
    • ruin stored food products
    • nuisance in and around buildings

    IPM Recommendations

    • Install tight-fitting door sweeps.
    • Seal exterior cracks, crevices and areas around pipes and electrical that enter buildings through walls.
    • Reduce clutter indoors and outdoors.
    • Remove weeds and low-growing ornamentals/covers.
    • Move dumpsters at least 50 feet from buildings.
    • Keep all exterior doors closed.
    • Store food in pest-proof containers.
    • Use snap-traps placed with triggers toward the baseboards, especially in dark corners and behind objects, in drop ceilings, and areas with droppings, etc.
    • Use multiple baits: peanut butter, meat, candy, etc.
    • When trapping, put traps out with bait, but do not set the triggers. Desensitize the rats for a week before setting the triggers.
    • Train kitchen and custodial staff to clean thoroughly.

    Additional Resources:

    IPM for Rats and Mice: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)