Bug Blog

Some Surprising Facts About Rats

Rats can be intriguing animals. Obviously, we don’t want them in our home, but the fact that they’ve managed to spread to almost every continent in the world and survive is amazing. With that being said, there is still a lot that is unknown about this famous animal. In this article, we’re going to cover some of the lesser known facts about rats.

Rats live in tribes

Rats have tribal structures, and a rat nest is usually composed of a single large family. You can find up to 150 individual rats in a nest, and these nests can get quite complex, with differentiated areas used for various purposes. This means that whenever you see a rat in the home, or see signs of a rat infestation, it’s very likely that there are a lot of rats crawling around somewhere hidden. As such, the control procedure can get quite extensive and it can take a long time to uproot and remove the entire rat population in an infested building.

Rat species compete with each other over territory

Rats are fierce competitors across species, and the current reigning king, almost everywhere in the world, is the Norway rat. The Norway rat, despite its name, does not hail from Norway. It comes from a land much further away – Southeast Asia. It took centuries, if not millennia, for the Norway rat to spread across the land and go further West by hopping on top of trade caravans. However, when sailing became a much more effective way to trade goods, the Norway rat hopped on board, and it crossed oceans to reach the North American continent. Once here, it dominated all other rat species, including the black rat, which was the first European rat to reach the continent.

Rats are smart enough to use tools

Rats are actually quite smart, which is why they are so hard to remove. During an infestation for example, they will avoid objects or foods that kill other rats, meaning that traps and poisons lose their effectiveness over time. In a laboratory setting, researchers went as far as teaching rats to drive a small plastic car ino order to get food. Their intelligence mixes with their social behavior to create a very sturdy pest. For more information about rats, or if you have a rat infestation in your home that has to be removed, contact us today.