Things You Did Not Know About Rats: Facts And Types

There are many types of rats around the world: prominent among them are the Norway rat, roof rat, the deer mouse, the cotton rat, black rat, the white-footed mouse, common house mouse, dormouse, wood rats, white rats, and hamsters. Norway Rats (Rattus Norvegicus), black rats (Rattus Rattus), and house mice (Mus Musculus) are the rats or mice we normally encounter. Norway or black rats belong to different species and cannot interbreed. Adult rats can even weigh 10 times more than mice. Let's take a look at some rat facts.

Mice and Rats:

House mice measure 12 to 20cms in length, including the tail and weigh 12-13 grams. They may be whites, brown or gray in color. Their heads are small and their snouts are triangular with long whiskers. Mice have large, floppy ears and pointed muzzles, as well as long thin hairy tails. They are found through the world in various climates. In nature, they live for about a year. Mice are nocturnal, timid, social, curious and territorial.

Rats and mice are born naked and blind, but Norway rats are fully furred at 15 days. Adult rats have 9-11 inch long bodies and their tails are 7-9 inches long. Due to their larger body size, rat feces are larger than mouse feces. Rats have thick tails: their tails are shorter than their bodies. This is one of the less known rat facts.

Their feet, especially their hind feet are large compared to their bodies. At 8 weeks, they weigh 200grams, as compared to an adult mouse (30-50 grams). Rats have stubbly, blunt faces with wide noses.  Rats are known to hunt, kill and even eat mice.

A mouse will try to defend itself with its front paws in a boxing position. However, the first rat-bite is usually fatal for the mouse. Mouse-killing is affected by hunger: captive-born wild rats, when raised with mice, will not kill the mice they are familiar with.

Some more facts:

Rats are medium to large rodents with hairless, scaly tails. Found throughout the world, in varying environments, they are nocturnal in nature. Rats are large and heavy, compared to mice.

Their coats may be white, gray, brown or black and are usually soiled enough to leave grease marks on touched surfaces. Small mouse traps won't work for large rats. Rat traps set on the floor, won't capture roof rats.

One of rat facts is the Norway rat has a heavy thick body, blunt snout, dark hair and short ears. Norway rats have a brown body with black shading and a shaggy coat. Their tails are dark on top and pale underneath and their droppings are shaped like capsules.

Roof rats have light, slender bodies, pointed snouts and large ears with no hair. Adults weigh around 200grams and their dropping is shaped like spindles. All rats are great at climbing and are very strong swimmers. Though they prefer fresh grain and meat; they will eat nearly anything.

How to catch a rat

Mice are curious and rats are cautious. Rats are careful and will avoid new things in their path, till they are used to them. So, you must place unset traps in their path before actually setting fully-baited rats-traps there.

Mice are very curious and will investigate anything new. So you set a trap and put it right in their path as they will not be able to resist it. If it does not catch the mouse in a few days: move it!

Rat odor is extremely stressful to mice and has a serious effect on their behavior and reproduction. Mice start to lose their appetite (ouCommentt of fear) when exposed to rat urine.

Pregnant mice exposed to rat urine produce fewer litters. Rat odor or rat urine is used by scientists as a "predator odor" to study anxiety and anti-predator behavior in mice. You can always google DIYs, but if the matter is too serious it is always recommended to call a rodent control expert.