You’ve probably come across a rat while visiting large cities or traveling on the subway, but what you may not realize is that these scavengers also dwell in suburbs and rural areas, and are even capable of thriving in human environments, as their secretive behavior helps the rodents remain unseen by humans. With any sort of rat infestation, treatment of the situation can be dangerous and calls for the attention of an expert. In North America, professionals tend to deal most commonly with The Norway rat and Roof Rat. Do you know the difference?


Regardless of category, a rat infestation poses much risk, and should be left to the specialists to inspect and address appropriately. Rats are known to spread diseases through several different means, including physical contact, bites, contamination, or by fleas that have been feeding on the rodent. In fact, rats can transmit food poisoning by coming into contact with a food preparation surface, and can transmit the disease, “rat bite fever” through bacteria in their mouth. Also, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is transferred through breathing rodent urine, droppings, or saliva. It’s incredibly important to get in touch with a professional, who is aware of the hazards and how to navigate them, at any concern of a rat infestation.


Possibly even more frustrating for the home or business owner, traps available to catch rats are usually ineffective. Rats are smarter than we would imagine, and are inclined to be wary of unknown objects in their environments. Moreover, the rat population multiplies rapidly, as females produce up to five litters a year, with young numbering up to 14! Contact Squared Away Pest Control with any questions or concerns, at 781-353-1989.

The two most common rats in North America:


Norway Rats:

– Burrowers: build nests outside the walls of homes, on edges of sidewalks, and beneath patios

– Omnivorous, consuming meats, fruits, grains and nuts

– Large, weighing in excess of 500 grams, and reach lengths of 40 cm, with tails alone measuring up to 21 cm

– Females can have three to 12 litters per year


Roof Rats:

– Live in elevated areas of human homes, such as attics, rafters, eaves and on roofs.

– Black or brown, and can reach over 40 cm long

– Highly adaptable, able to live in a variety of environments

– Prefer to consume fruits, and are sometimes referred to as the “fruit rat” or “citrus rat”