These rats are prolific breeders. The gestation period varies from 21 to 23 days and the number of young from two to 14, averaging seven or eight. At birth they are blind, naked, and helpless.They grow rapidly; their eyes open in 14-17 days and they are weaned when 3 or 4 weeks old.There is no delimited breeding season, but there is a tendency for a slow-up in reproduction during fall and winter. The life span is reported to be 2-3 years.
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The Norway, or brown, rat lives both in close association with man and in the feral state, chiefly where vegetation is tall and rank and affords adequate protection. As a commensal this rat lives principally in basements, on the ground floor, or in burrows under sidewalks or out buildings. They appear to be most common about feed stores, chicken houses, and garbage dumps. Although more at home on the ground, these rats are adept at climbing and have been observed traveling along telephone wires from one building to another. In places they become exceedingly numerous and destructive.
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Norwegian Rat Control