There are a large variety of different rodents in the world, one of the most well-known and unwelcome species being the rat. Despite what you may have learned from the movie Ratatouille, rats can cause a lot of problems in your home. Despite the little rodents creating a menace, they can be fascinating. Below is a compilation of some interesting facts about rats and rodents in general that may surprise you. Here are some interesting rat facts.
1. There are more than 2000 types of rodents
When you think of rodents you probably think of mice and rats, and probably not much else. But there are over 2000 types of rodents and they include squirrels, chipmunks, porcupines and many more! There are a variety of rodents around the world, but the two most common rodents in Toronto are the House Mouse and the Norway Rat.
2. The word rodent comes from a Latin word that means to “gnaw”
Different types of rodents use their sharp incisors to gnaw foods, break through barriers and to defend themselves. Their teeth grow from 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches a year. Rodents wear down the teeth by eating down walls, animals, and wood.
3. Rat Facts: Female rats reproduce as early as 3 months
A female rat can mate as many as 500 times with various males during a 6 hour period. Thus, a pair of rats can reproduce to an astonishing 2,000 descendants in a year! It is any wonder that a rat infestation can be difficult to get rid of when they repopulate this quickly?
4. Rodents can tread in water
Rodents can swim in water for up to three days; therefore, if you flush them down the toilet, they may actually come back up through the same route! That’s a pretty shocking and terrifying thought, isn’t it?
5. Rats transmit diseases
Rats pose a health risk as they are known to transmit serious diseases to humans, including, Q fever, plague, Weil’s disease and viral hemorrhagic fever. If you suspect you have a rat infestation, the best thing you can do, is to call an exterminator to remove them immediately. Unlike many other pests which are relatively harmless, rats are known transmitters of disease.
6. Rodents can squeeze through tiny holes
Rodents can squeeze through holes as small as ¼- inch! So make sure you seal up any cracks in your foundation, garden, doorways, garage or any other areas where rats may be able to sneak in. You may think the space is too small for a rat to creep in, but you’re better safe than sorry.
7. Even rodents get bullied
Rodents fall in to problems with peer-pressure just like humans do! They will often do whatever the others in their pack are doing just to fit in, even if that means eating food they are not familiar with.
8. Do not underestimate a rodent’s brain power
Rodents are quite intelligent, especially given their size. In 2007 scientists discovered that, like humans, rats have the ability to reason and make decisions based off what they learn. There are many tests being conducted on rodents to prove that they are intelligent creatures.
Though these rat facts are fascinating, rodents and rat infestations can often become an unwelcome problem in your home and are far from ideal housemates.