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How to trap Norway rats


About Norway rats

The Norway Rat (Rattus Norvegicus) is a hardy, adaptable, aggressive, and sly mammal. It has been in America for over 250 years and is well known for it’s large size, along with it’s burrowing habits. Norway rats will often create burrows around sidewalks, home foundations, patio slabs, or any other protected area. Generally burrows are not found out in an open field etc, but exceptions do occur. Norway rat burrows consist of a main entrance/exit point, a primary den inside, along with 2-3 “bolt” tunnels for emergency exit. However, burrows can be expanded to be much larger and more complex as a given population grows. 

Food Sources

Norway rats are omnivores meaning they eat just about anything given the opportunity including grains, cereals, cockroaches, berries and fruits, tomatoes, and left overs from fast food and restaurants. Common trouble spots are chicken coops, bird feeders, commercial dumpsters, and fruit trees. Identifying and eliminating food sources (as much as possible) will greatly increase the success of a trapping program for Norway rats. 

Locating Entry Points

If you want to eliminate Norway rats from your home or crawlspace traps are the way to go. Using poison as a primary method is not recommended unless absolutely necessary due to the possibility of secondary poisoning, and also the possibility of rodents dying in places that are difficult or impossible to get to (behind walls, etc). But prior to trapping it is recommended that you locate and seal up any entry points into the home and crawlspace. This can be done by going around the exterior of the home and check all of the crawlspace vents, particularly where A/C lines are run into the crawlspace. Any broken vents should be sealed. Also check for burrows around the foundation of the home. These should also be sealed. Lastly, Check in the garage for any utilities going into the crawlspace (hot water heater or HVAC pipes). Often rats can gain entry into a crawlspace by the gap behind HVAC tubes coming from the garage. 


Once entry points have been located and sealed you are ready to begin trapping. Trapping works best when you use a multitude of traps. Your choice of bait can depend on what the rats are attracted to. We recommend starting with peanut butter and potentially adding a target food that the rats have been going after previously (dog food, chicken feed, etc). Set traps in places where rodent activity is likely, especially by walls, corners, along pipes, etc. And by any entry/exit points. 

Continue this process until the rats are eliminated – at which point you should monitor the exterior for rodent activity. You can do this by using snap traps outside or by using a non-poison bait block in a bait station to see if activity continues in the future outside. Lastly, ensure that you check the exterior of the home each season to make sure no entry attempts have been made. 

We hope this information has been helpful for you! If you have any questions or if you feel overwhelmed and would like help dealing with your Norway rat infestation please call or text us at 503-985-6523 or send us a contact form. 

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