10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Rats You Never Thought About
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10 Mind-Blowing Facts About Rats You Never Thought About

Reading time: 7 minutes

People instinctively have an adverse reaction to rats, and rightfully so! But believe it or not, beyond unfavourable preconceptions is a world of intellect, social complexity, and intriguing behaviour. Let’s dive in!

Rats Interesting Facts
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1. Rats are super intelligent creatures

Rats are fantastic problem solvers; they can solve puzzles fast, find their way through complex mazes with spatial awareness, and even play video games!

Rats can interpret human-like communication cues; they can even recognize their names and obey orders. The close links they make within their societies, exhibiting empathy and cooperative actions, are clear indicators of their social intelligence. Rats have an intricate system of body language, scent marking, and vocalizations for communication that helps them survive in various habitats.

2. Rats are very social

Rats are sometimes portrayed as isolated animals, although they behave quite the opposite. They prefer to live in communal settings where they may create close family ties by forming groups known as mischiefs. We know, right?

Communication within these groups involves a rich repertoire of sounds and body language, enabling rats to convey various messages to their companions. Beyond mere communication, rats engage in grooming rituals, a form of social bonding that enhances group cohesion. Their social interactions extend to playful activities, reinforcing the importance of communal engagement.

Additionally, rats share food within their groups, emphasizing their societies' collaborative and cooperative nature. That also means that if a rat finds a food source, he’ll likely tell his buddies where to go. You now have an infestation on your hands.

3. Rats have amazing senses

Rats' enhanced senses allow them to compensate for their low vision, which helps them survive and adapt to various settings. Their excellent sense of smell is particularly useful for finding food sources, avoiding predators, and identifying other rats in their social groupings.

To properly traverse their environment, rats rely on their sense of smell. Furthermore, their keen sense of touch—especially through their whiskers—is essential to their ability to explore their surroundings and pick up on minute vibrations, giving them a tactile map of their immediate environs.

Moreover, rats possess a remarkable auditory range, capable of detecting sounds beyond the human spectrum, including ultrasound frequencies and even their unique form of communication—laughter (yep, they’re probably laughing at us, too).

These heightened senses collectively showcase their resourcefulness and adaptability, challenging the misconception that poor eyesight diminishes their perceptiveness.

4. Rats have incredible teeth

Rats possess a distinctive dental characteristic that sets them apart in the animal kingdom: their four front teeth, known as incisors, never cease to grow. Never. This growth presents a unique challenge for them; to address that, they love constantly gnawing on hard materials. That’s bad news for us. Their incisors allow them to cut through concrete, metal, and wood. Rats can chew down with a force of up to 12,000 pounds per square inch! That's like a power move from the tooth department. This is why rodents have gained the reputation of being destructive pests.

Interesting Rats Facts
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5. Rats have super flexible bodies

Rats possess an incredible ability to navigate and escape tight spots, squeezing through openings as small as a quarter by collapsing their ribs. Their agility extends to impressive jumping skills, reaching up to four feet high and covering considerable distances while swimming—up to half a mile.

These resourceful creatures are adept climbers and skilled runners, showcasing their agility and adaptability in various environments. Overall, the remarkable physical capabilities of rats contribute to their resilience in thriving in diverse habitats.

6. Rats have long tails

Their tail is up to 8 inches long and hairless. They maintain their body temperature and equilibrium with the help of this tail. In hotter weather, they may radiate part of their body heat through their tails; in colder weather, they can coil their tails around themselves. Additionally, rats may communicate with one another through their tails.

7. Rats have diverse diets

Rats are foodies. Since they are omnivores, they will gladly eat almost everything. Although they are especially fond of grains, fruits, nuts, and seeds, don't be surprised if you see them chowing down on some meat, eggs, insects or even picking through the rubbish to have a gourmet meal.

These tiny creatures are on a gourmet expedition; they aren't fussy eaters! Rats can live in various habitats and discover food sources because they are opportunistic and adaptive.

Additionally, rats have senses for things that humans do not, such as carbon dioxide and the hardness of water.

8. Rats have short lives

They can live up to 2 years in the wild and 4 years in captivity. Food scarcity, illness, threats, and hostility from others are just a few of the issues they must contend with.

But despite their short life, they multiply really quickly. A female rat may give birth to twelve young ones within three weeks! Furthermore, these children can begin producing additional little rats—even with members of their own family—as early as five weeks old, when they reach puberty.

9. Rats: the bearers of all things ill

Rats have a poor reputation since they're linked to many bad things in history and are rightfully pegged as a scourge to humankind. Some mice and rats carry harmful diseases, such as HPS, Leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, plague, and typhus.

10. Rats droppings are toxic!

One way to be absolutely sure of a rat invasion in your yard or home is the presence of black-brown pellet droppings (a little longer than a grain of rice) in your home. This is rat poop, and it can spread diseases. Hantaviruses are a family of viruses that mice and rats spread. It is a severe respiratory disease with a mortality rate of 38%. That being said, not every rat is pathogenic or dangerous.

If you’ve been in contact with rat dropping or urine and have been experiencing symptoms such as muscle aches, abdominal pain, chills, diarrhea, dizziness, headaches, nausea, or vomiting, contact a medical professional to rule out complications.

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FAQs About Rodent Control

Are rats harmful?

Yes. As mentioned earlier, rats transmit nasty diseases like leptospirosis, salmonellosis, rat-bite fever, and Hantavirus. And as if that's not enough, their digging and gnawing can also destroy your property.

How can I eliminate rats?

To kick rats to the curb, the trick is to prevent them from barging into your home or business in the first place. Set up traps or use repellents, seal off any openings or gaps, and make sure to clear away any tempting debris or food sources. To safely and efficiently eradicate a significant rat infestation, you might need to contact a reputable pest control company like Buzz Boss.

How can I determine whether my home is home to a rat?

Here are a few indicators that you could have rats:

  • Droppings: Rats excrete around half an inch in length, black, cylindrical excrement.
  • Rats bite marks can be seen on pipes, wood, wires, and other materials.
  • Rat tracks: On dusty or unclean surfaces, rats leave behind rub traces, tail markings, and footprints.
  • Sounds: Especially at night, rats can be heard squeaking, scratching, and scurrying about.
  • Nests: In concealed or dim areas, rats construct nests from shredded materials like paper, cloth, or insulation.
  • Smells: You get an ammonia stench that rats emit.

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