Rat Facts for Every Homeowner
Rats can be quite fascinating. Since they are small furry mammals, these rats could have been cute if they weren’t such pests. They’re simply unstoppable. While it’s impossible to keep count of how many rats are alive today, it could be highly possible that they have outnumbered or are at least close to the 7.6 billion world population of humans.
Because there’s just too many of them around us, it would definitely be interesting to learn more about rats and how they live. Here are some rat facts you might want to know about.
1. Telltale signs that you very possibly have rats in your home or business space.
The most obvious signs of a rat problem or rat infestation are as follows:
- Rat droppings – this is a tell tale sign that you have a rat problem.
- Odd noises – if you hear strange noises in your walls or attic, it’s time to investigate!
- Gnawing marks – rats are prolific chewers, so if you see gnawed wood, plastic peelings, and the like, it probably wasn’t your pet kitty.
- Tracks – a rat’s fur is greasy and dirty, so if you see black tracks along your floorboards or walls, it might be rats.
2. Some quick rat basics.
- Rats can be as small as a few inches and as big as 10 inches (scary, right)!
- Rats love to hang with other rats, and they are very social critters that are most comfortable around a community of family.
- Rats are chewers, and they love to gnaw into just about anything that can fill that need: wood, plastic garbage bags, leather shoes, wires, wood, carpet, and much more.
- They are one of the best climbers in the animal/rodent community.
- Their bodies are very malleable, and they can fit through tiny holes in your attic area that will surprise you.
- As you likely already know, they have very high production rates so it’s key to catch them early.
- They are very adaptable, so the only way to eviscerate them is full and complete extermination.
3. There are over 56 rat species that live across the world.
Brown rats, also known as Norway rats are the ones we see in sewers, woodpiles, and fields. They’re not great climbers but they’re incredible swimmers. Black rats are the ones we usually see in the garbage. They’re great climbers so they are the ones that live in the attic, roof or high above trees. There are even more rat species such mountain rats and forest rats among many others.
4. There are rat-free places in the world.
It has been written many times that rats inhabit all continents with the exception of Antartica. And while rats infest large cities including London, Paris, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles among many others, there’s one Canadian province that’s completely rat-free — Alberta. In fact, Alberta employs people who constantly control and get rid of rats. Alberta has been rat-free for 50 years now.
5. Rat infestation and your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Generally speaking, the clean-up and aftermath of a rat infestation is not covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if there is specific collateral damage as a result of the infestation (chewing through wires causing a fire), then the damage may be covered by a hazard policy. Either way, it is always best to contact your insurance company to see how they might help
6. Female rats can become pregnant as early as 5 weeks of age.
Rats multiply like crazy. The average litter size is about 8, but since these mammals don’t have a specific breeding season, they get pregnant and give birth all year round. As early as 5 weeks old, a female rat can be sexually mature. They come into heat every 4 to 5 days. Most rat species stop breeding at about 18 months when they reach menopause.
7. Rats laugh when they are tickled.
Rats are social mammals. They interact with their rat friends and as much as we perceive them as dark and creepy beings, they might just be having a whole lot of fun. This explains pretty much all the running and the squeaking in the attic. But did you know that rats laugh when they get tickled? Try it out or if that’s just unbearable, watch the video below to find out.
8. Some rats can grow as large as your house cat.
Imagine seeing a brown or black rat, as large as a cat, rummaging through the garbage or running around your house. Yes, that’s possible. A rat can grow anywhere from 7.8 to 19.7 inches in length. They can weigh only up to 2 pounds though. No wonder they get this big; their favorite food are eggs and they love nuts, potatoes, corn and a whole lot of other human food too!
9. Rats like living with humans.
Rats don’t live in the continent of Antartica primarily because of the cold weather, but also because of the absence of humans. Rats can live in urban and rural areas. Depending on their species, they would live underground or in higher places like roofs, trees or in your attic. It doesn’t matter where they build their home for as long as they’re close to humans like you. Rats are extremely smart. They know for sure that where there are humans, there’s food.
10. Rats can be deadly.
And because rats like living with people, there are many cases when they caused the death of a human being. Rats carry diseases like leptospirosis. If you have an open wound and it gets contact with rat urine, you can get infected. If untreated, it may cause death. Other diseases carried by rats and their waste are rat-bite fever, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, murine typhus and more.
If you happen to see rats in and around your property, it is better to call rat removal services right away. Yes, you can try trapping them in tiny cages and other kinds of rat traps, but who’s going to get them out of that trap? And where will you dispose of them to make sure they won’t come back? Best if you reach out to the experts so you can get rid of the rats and prevent them from coming back.
Animal Wildlife Trappers, Inc. offers services across all of Central Florida including Orlando and other surrounding areas. Call 352-267-0546 for assistance and to set an immediate appointment.