Are Norway Rats Commonly Found In Chicago?

Norway Rat in a garden.
These aggressive chewers and moisture-loving rats are among the more dangerous disease-spreading rodents. Commonly found in trash, debris, and sewers, if these rats find themselves indoors or around your Chicago home, you have reason to fear the structural damage and health risks their presence may pose.

Identifying Norway Rats And Where They Are Found

Norway rats, commonly called brown rats, are the most common species of rat found in Chicago. They make their home in every US state, including Alaska and Hawaii, though they prefer areas with lower elevation.

Norway rats are brown with scattered black hairs on its back and a gray to white underside. They grow up to 9 1/2 inches long and have thick bodies and blunt muzzles. These rodents can gnaw on or through nearly any material, including pipes. They live in burrows hidden under grass debris and wood piles.

Norway rats can gain entrance to a home through a hole the size of a quarter. They prefer basements and lower levels of a home but may also be found in attics and roofs, especially as an infestation grows. They will eat almost anything, but they have a preference for meat, fish, and cereal.

Not only can Norway rats cause significant structural damage that may be costly and dangerous to homeowners, but they also transmit serious diseases like jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis, and salmonellosis. Additionally, they contaminate food and bring disease-carrying fleas and ticks indoors.

How To Prevent Brown Rats

Keeping brown rats away is essential to the safety and health of your home and its family members. Since rodents are most attracted to shelter and food, making these inaccessible for rats should reduce the odds of an infestation. To keep the rats away, try these tips:

  • Keep woodpiles and other hiding places at least twenty feet away from the home. If bringing things in from outside, do a thorough check to ensure you’re not bringing rats in free of charge.
  • Seal cracks and holes in the home’s exterior with steel wool.
  • Fix the source of any leaking or standing water creating a moisture issue around your home.
  • Seal outdoor trash and keep it far away from the home. Clean the bin at least weekly.
  • Practice good sanitation indoors and out. Don’t let any food, including dog food, sit out.
  • Indoors, keep trash sealed and regularly taken out. Sanitize surfaces and don’t let dirty dishes sit in the sink.
  • Keep cabinet foods stored in glass or metal containers.
  • Making your home less attractive and less penetrable should do the trick, but sometimes these smart and stubborn pests find a way in no matter the preparations you’ve made.

Call Aerex Pest Control For The Safest Rat Control

Dealing with rats on your own is not a good idea. Poison traps are mostly ineffective, can be a danger to pets and small children, and can cause other pest problems when corpses build up in hard-to-reach places. Anything that requires you to make close contact with a rat is not a safe option. Leave the pest control to us. At Aerex Pest Control, we will inspect your home inside and out, target problematic areas, and follow up to make sure you’re staying pest-free. With over 70 years of pest control experience, we’re confident we are the most effective and safe rat-control in Chicago. Call Aerex Pest Control today, or visit us online for a free quote.

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