Facts About Rats

Updated October 27, 2021

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Whether you love them or hate them, rats are pretty unique and fascinating creatures. In this post, we will go over some facts about rats.’

Rats Can Swim

Certain types of rats can tread water for as long as three days! They can also hold their breath underwater for up to three minutes. What’s more, some rats can swim as far as a mile! Unfortunately, this means they can swim up your pipes and end up in your toilets.

Rats are Admired in Some Cultures

There’s a temple in northwest India that is dedicated to Hindu goddess Karni Mata that is home to more than 15,000 rats. These rodents are protected and worshiped, and the humans who worship the species believe when they die, they will be reincarnated as rats.

RatsTails Keep them Cool

Unlike humans, rats don’t sweat. They also don’t pant to keep them cool like dogs; instead, they control their body temperature by expanding ad contracting the blood vessels located in their tails.

Rats Teeth Never Stop Growing

Rats are notorious for gnawing and chewing on things. Their teeth can grow up to five inches per year. They have to chew and gnaw on things to wear their teeth down. In addition to wood, rats also chew through lead, cinder blocks, and even aluminum sheeting.

There are Many Kinds of Rats

Brown rats (Norway rats), pack rats, and roof rats are commonly known species. But, did you know there are actually more than 56 known rat species in the world?

Some Rats Can Grow Pretty Large

Rats we see around the Memphis area are pretty small. But, they have some pretty massive relatives. For example, the Sumatran bamboo rat can weigh more than eight pounds and measure 20 inches long. That’s the size of a small cat!

Rats are Prolific Breeders

Most people know this, but rats breed quickly. A female rat can reproduce every three weeks to a litter of about six to ten rat pups. These pups become sexually mature in as soon as three to four months and can start spawning their own babies.

Rats are Social Creatures

Most types of rats live in communities where they groom one another, sleep together, and play together. But, rats are also territorial creatures which means they can become aggressive towards unfamiliar rats. A group of rats is called a “mischief.”

Rats Can Carry disease-spreading Pathogens

One of the most commonly known facts about rats is that they can carry pathogens that spread diseases that can affect humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rats and mice can spread more than 35 diseases. Rats are even responsible for a 2003 outbreak of monkeypox.

Rats Can Laugh

We saved the creepiest fact for last. But yes, rats can laugh. It’s not a human chuckle but instead more of a high-pitched chirping noise.

Now that you know a little more about rats, do you understand why some people adore them and keep them as pets? Or maybe you just see more evidence why you never want to share your home with a rat!

Contact Foundation Pest Control Today!

Whether you’re dealing with rats, mice, or any other pest in between, rest easy knowing you can count on the expert team at Foundation Pest Control to take care of your pest problem and get your household back living comfortably. We have been protecting Memphis families for more than 20 years.