How To Recognize The Three Most Common Rat Pests In New York State

The state of New York is home to several mouse and rat species, not all of which are considered significant pests of houses and buildings. Like all rodents, mice and rats possess large and super sharp incisor teeth that are well designed for their habit of constantly gnawing on a variety of materials, including plastic, wood and even metal. Rats and mice are well adapted to living alongside humans within manmade structures, and some species have become well established in nearly every inhabited region of the world. The state of New York is home to three rat and five mouse species in total, with the house mouse and the Norway rat being the most common rodent pest species within households.

The Allegheny woodrat is prevalent throughout New York state, but their populations are generally concentrated in particular areas of the natural environment. While these rats may appear within, or around homes on occasion, they generally favor outdoor habitats, and are not considered significant pests of homes. The Allegheny woodrat looks similar to the Norway rat, only the former is smaller, has larger ears and a hairier tail than the latter.

The black rat is generally recognized as being the most common indoor rat pest behind the Norway rat in New York state. The black rat’s hair is dark brown to black in color and their tail is longer than their 7 inch body length. In the natural environment, black rats are most abundant in wooded areas, and they are excellent climbers, as they often climb trees in order to access attic spaces. These rats usually congregate on the top floors of houses, and they will readily invade homes in search of food and shelter.

Norway rats are easy to recognize on account of their large size, which is around 15 inches from nose to tail. These rats dwell in a variety of habitats throughout New York state, and they are the most common and economically significant indoor rat pests in the county. Norway rats raid cupboards, pantries, and they often inflict property damage. It is estimated that Norway rats are responsible for inflicting 1 billion dollars in property damage annually in the United States alone.

Have you ever found a rat within your home?