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10 Interesting Facts About Rats

As Auckland’s leading rodent exterminators, the A-Jet Pest Control team is more familiar with the humble rat than most. While they may be everyone’s least favourite house guest, rats are actually quite fascinating creatures. In this article, we’ll share 10 of our favourite rodent facts.

1. Rodents Are Highly Intelligent

Rats are incredibly intelligent and possess problem-solving skills that rival those of dogs. They can navigate mazes, recognise patterns, and even remember routes to food sources. This intelligence makes them adept at avoiding traps and finding new ways into homes and buildings. 

2. Prolific Breeders

Rats reproduce at an astonishing rate. Rats begin to breed from about 2-5 months old and have on average 4-6 litters of 6-8 babies each year. When you do the math, the numbers are frightening! This rapid reproduction is one reason why rodent control is so crucial – an infestation can quickly spiral out of control.

3. Strong Teeth and Constant Gnawing

A rat’s teeth never stop growing, which is why they are constantly gnawing on objects to keep them in check. They can chew through a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, and even lead pipes, causing significant damage to properties.

Rat eating bread

4. Excellent Climbers and Swimmers

Rats are highly versatile in their movements. They can climb vertical walls, walk along thin wires, and swim long distances. This ability allows them to access areas that might seem secure and spread their presence far and wide.

5. Highly Social Animals

Rats are social creatures that live in colonies. They communicate with each other through high-frequency sounds and body language. When one rat finds food, it will often share the location with its colony, leading to large groups inhabiting a single area. They are however, neophobic, meaning they shy away from new objects and changes in their environment.

6. Disease Carriers

Rats are notorious for spreading diseases to humans and other animals. They carry and spread numerous diseases, including leptospirosis, hantavirus, and historically, even the plague. 

7. Nocturnal Habits

Rats are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. This behaviour helps them avoid predators and human interaction, making it challenging to detect an infestation until it becomes severe.

8. Impressive Memory

Rats have excellent memories. Once they learn a navigation route or recognise a danger, they seldom forget it. This trait helps them avoid traps and other control measures, requiring more strategic approaches to manage infestations.

9. Omnivorous Diet

Rats are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. They are not picky eaters and will consume almost anything, from grains and fruits to meat and garbage. This adaptability in diet allows them to thrive in various environments.

Rat highlighting stealing food

10. Survival Skills

Rats are highly adaptable and can survive in harsh conditions. They can live in sewers, urban environments, and rural areas. Their resilience and ability to find food and shelter in diverse locations make them a persistent pest problem.

In Auckland, the warm and humid climate provides an ideal environment for rats and other rodents. Homes and businesses are at risk of infestation, which can lead to property damage and health issues. If you suspect a rodent infestation or want to take preventative measures, don’t wait. Contact A-Jet Pest Control today for a thorough inspection and customised pest control plan. Protect your home and health with our expert services.

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