The Norway rat, roof rat, deer mouse, cotton rat, black rat, white-footed mouse, common house mouse, dormouse, wood rats, white rats, and hamsters are among the various varieties of rats found across the world. The rats and mice we usually see include Norway rats (Rattus Norvegicus), black rats (Rattus Rattus), and house mice (Mus Musculus). Norway and black rats are two distinct species that cannot breed. Regardless of how unpleasant it is to have rats walking around your home, rats are intelligent animals with many fascinating aspects to learn about. Adult rats can weigh up to ten times as much as mice, that is one fact but let’s take a look at many more.
Name of 15 Common Types of Rats
- Norway Rat
- Roof Rat
- Brown Rat
- Black Rat
- Polynesian Rat
- Rice Field Rat
- Himalayan Rat
- Alexandrine Rat
- African Giant Pouched Rat
- Kangaroo Rat
- Wood Rat
- Pack Rat
- Florida Cotton Rat
- White-Footed Deer mouse
- Deer Mouse
Top 15 Interesting Facts about Rats
- There are Over 60 Species of Rats Worldwide
- Rats are Very Social Animals
- Rats are Intelligent and Can Learn Tricks
- Rats have a Powerful Sense of Smell
- Rats are Excellent Swimmers
- Rats have a Unique Dental Structure
- Rats can Eat Almost Anything
- Rats have a Short Lifespan
- Rats have been Used for Medicinal Purposes
- Rats have been Trained to Detect Landmines
- Rats are Excellent Climbers
- Rats are Ncturnal
- Rats can Carry Diseases
- Rats have been Used in Art and Literature
- Rats are Survivors
Fact – 1: There are Over 60 Species of Rats Worldwide
Rats are found on every continent, except Antarctica. There are over 60 different species of rats, ranging from the common brown rat to the giant African pouched rat. The largest rat species is the Bosavi woolly rat, which can grow up to 32 inches long.
Fact – 2: Rats are Very Social Animals
Rats are very social animals and thrive in groups. They are known to groom each other, play together, and even show empathy towards one another. Rats will often share food with each other and will even adopt orphaned pups from other litters.
Fact – 3: Rats are Intelligent and Can Learn Tricks
Rats are highly intelligent and can learn a variety of tricks. They are often used in laboratory experiments because of their ability to learn and problem solve. Some people even keep rats as pets and teach them to do tricks like roll over, play dead, and fetch.
Fact – 4: Rats have a Powerful Sense of Smell
Rats possess a remarkable sense of smell that enables them to identify scents that humans cannot perceive. This makes them valuable in the fields of search and rescue and detecting landmines.
Fact – 5: Rats are Excellent Swimmers
Rats are excellent swimmers and can hold their breath for up to three minutes. They use their tails as rudders and their hind feet as propellers to swim through water. Some species of rats, like the water rat, are even semi-aquatic and spend a lot of time in the water.
Fact – 6: Rats have a Unique Dental Structure
Rats have a unique dental structure that allows their front teeth to continue growing throughout their lifetime. This is because their teeth are constantly being worn down from gnawing on hard objects. If their teeth get too long, they can become a problem and make it difficult for them to eat.
Fact – 7: Rats can Eat Almost Anything
Rats are omnivores and can eat almost any thing including but not limited to insects, fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat. They are also known to eat their own feces in order to extract as many nutrients as possible.
Fact – 8: Rats have a Short Lifespan
Rats have a relatively short lifespan, living on average 1-2 years in the wild. This is because they have many natural predators, such as cats, dogs, and birds of prey.
Fact – 9: Rats have been Used for Medicinal Purposes
Rats have been used for medicinal purposes throughout history. Ancient Egyptians believed that rats could cure blindness, and Chinese medicine has used rat parts to treat a variety of ailments, including arthritis and skin conditions.
Fact – 10: Rats have been Trained to Detect Landmines
Rats have been trained to detect landmines in war-torn countries. They are lightweight and can safely walk over landmines without setting them off. They are also able to detect the scent of TNT, which is used in landmines.
Fact – 11: Rats are Excellent Climbers
Rats are excellent climbers and can scale vertical walls and trees with ease. They are able to do this because of their sharp claws and long tails, which help them balance.
Fact – 12: Rats are Ncturnal
Rats are nocturnal animals and are most active at night. They have excellent night vision and are able to navigate in the dark using their other senses, such as smell and touch.
Fact – 13: Rats can Carry Diseases
Rats are capable of carrying diseases that can be transferred to humans, such as rat-bite fever, leptospirosis, and hantavirus. It is important to take precautions when handling rats or cleaning up after them to avoid exposure to these diseases.
Fact – 14: Rats have been Used in Art and Literature
Rats have been used as a symbol in art and literature for centuries. They are often portrayed as cunning and intelligent, as well as dirty and disease-ridden. In some cultures, rats are even considered to be good luck.
Fact – 15: Rats are Survivors
Rats are survivors and have been able to adapt to changing environments throughout history. Rats can survive and adapt to various habitats, including urban environments, where they can easily obtain food and shelter, enabling them to thrive in such settings.
How to Get Rid of Rats Easily
Rats are one of the most unwanted, yet omnipresent, organisms that live alongside humans. Despite the fact that no one wants rats around, they are drawn to human homes. Here are 5 effective ways to get rid of rats:
- Eliminate Food Sources
- Seal Entry Points
- Use Traps
- Use Bait
- Call a Professional Exterminator
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Frequently Asked Questions about Rats
1. Are rats dangerous to humans?
Rats can be a potential health hazard to humans as they can carry diseases and cause damage to property. It is important to practice proper hygiene and take measures to prevent infestations by keeping food and garbage properly stored, sealing entry points, and maintaining a clean living environment.
2. How many different types of rats are there?
There are various types of rats, but the most commonly encountered ones are the brown rat (Norway rat) and the black rat (roof rat). Other rat species include the rice rat, wood rat, and kangaroo rat, each with its own unique characteristics and habitats.
3. What is the average lifespan of a rat?
The average lifespan of a rat typically ranges from 2 to 3 years. However, with proper care and a controlled environment, some rats can live up to 4 or 5 years. Factors such as genetics, diet, and living conditions can influence their lifespan.
4. Can rats make good pets?
Yes, rats can make wonderful pets. Domesticated rats, often referred to as fancy rats, are intelligent, social, and capable of forming strong bonds with their owners. They can be affectionate, playful, and can even learn tricks or commands with patience and training.
5. How many babies do rats have in a litter?
Rats are known for their rapid reproduction. A female rat can have multiple litters in a year, and the average litter size ranges from 6 to 12 babies. However, litter sizes can vary greatly, with some litters consisting of as few as 1 or as many as 20 babies.
6. What do rats eat?
Rats are omnivorous creatures with a diverse diet. They can consume grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, insects, and even meat. Their scavenging nature allows them to adapt to various food sources depending on their environment and availability.
7. How can I prevent a rat infestation?
Preventing a rat infestation involves implementing proactive measures. Start by eliminating potential food and water sources, such as securely storing food in containers and fixing any leaks. Seal off entry points by repairing gaps or cracks in buildings. Regularly clean and declutter your surroundings to reduce hiding spots. If you suspect an infestation, it is advisable to seek assistance from a professional pest control service for effective removal and prevention strategies.