Originating from Asia and Australia, rats can now be found all over the world. Similar to mice, rats are thinner, lengthier, and have longer legs. Typically, rats are about 5 inches long or longer. There are more than 60 species of rats, with the most commonly known being the Norway rats (brown) and the pack/roof rats (black).
Here are five interesting facts about rats that you may not know:
Fact #1 – They come in all shapes and sizes!
In 2009, the largest species of rat was found. The Bosavi woolly rat, found in the rainforest of Papua New Guinea, is estimated to be the size of a domestic cat, measuring about 32.2 inches long and weighing 3.3 lbs. On the other hand, the smallest rat ever found was about 5-7 inches long and is known as the Osgood’s Vietnamese rat.
Fact #2 – They have something in common with the deer family!
A male rat is known as a buck, while a female rat is known as a doe, just like a male deer is known as a buck and a female deer is known as a doe. Infant rats are known as pups or kittens. Additionally, a group of rats is called a mischief, which adds a playful and mischievous element to their collective name.
Fact #3 – They take care of their own!
Rats are known to stick together and show a level of camaraderie within their groups. It’s no wonder where the popular phrase “rat pack” came from. Just observing a group of rats can teach us a little bit about kindness and loyalty. They take care of their injured and ill within their group, grooming one another and providing companionship. Without each other, they tend to become lonely and ultimately, depressed.
Fact #4 – They have amazingly strong teeth!
Rats can be a huge nuisance, and if you find one in your home or business, it’s essential to call pest control promptly. Their teeth are incredibly strong and can cut through cinder blocks, wood, aluminum, lead, wire, and even glass. Their teeth can grow up to 5 inches per year. A bonus fun fact about rats is that they use their tails to communicate, balance, and even regulate their body temperature.
Fact #5 – They are used in research projects!
This is a commonly known fact, but an interesting one nonetheless. Rats and mice make up about 95 percent of all lab animals used for testing. They have been the cornerstone of animal testing for more than 150 years. Rats have been invaluable in changing medical history for diabetes, cardiovascular medication, neural regeneration, transplants, and wound healing. Their use in research has led to significant advancements in healthcare and scientific understanding.
Interesting bonus fact! NASA even keeps lab mice aboard the Space Station for experiments in microgravity, highlighting the unique capabilities of these creatures in various environments.
While rats may look cute and cuddly, they actually carry pathogens that can spread diseases affecting humans. In fact, according to the CDA, rats and mice can spread more than 35 diseases. Due to their small size, they can fit through the tiniest of places, making it crucial to call a pest control company the moment you suspect a rat infestation in or around your home or business. Despite their seemingly harmless appearance, rats can pose serious health risks.
If rats are giving you problems, consider reaching out to WILDOUT Animal and Pest Removal at 1-844-WILDOUT for expert assistance in rodent control.
In conclusion, rats are fascinating creatures that come in various sizes, have unique social behaviors, possess impressive physical attributes, and serve as key animals in scientific research. While they have their place in the natural world, it is important to take necessary precautions if they become a pest problem in human habitats.