There is no better way to kick off the beginning of winter than by telling you about these winter lovers – rats. Rats are most likely to invade your house in the winter season as they are not only looking for a home but a warm one. Your household is most likely to be rat-infested if it its untidy and has openings where rats can easily enter. Here are some of the most interesting rat facts we thought you should know about.
Rats can swim
Have you ever tried to drown a rat and it shocked you by crawling back up? Here’s why, Rats are known to tread water for up to three days and can hold their breath for three minutes under water, that is why rats can easily crawl up to your toilet. Rats are believed to be able to travel through pipes and can return to the building trough the same path they were flushed from.
Their tails keep them cool
Unlike humans, rats don’t sweat, and this is because they are able to control their body temperature by expanding and contracting the blood vessels in their tails. Not only do rats use their tails for temperature regulation, but rats also use their tails for balancing purposes since they climb fences and telephone wires. Cutting a rat’s tail off will however not result in the rat dying.
Their teeth never stop growing
Surprisingly, rats chew things like wood, cement and aluminium sheeting mainly because they are trying to stop their teeth from growing longer. Did you know that a rat’s teeth can grow up to 5cm per year? Due to this reason, rats chew hard material so that their teeth can break and not grow so long. Rats are believed to be lovers of human food but chew hard material to maintain the size of their teeth.
Rats are high-volume breeders
A female rat can reproduce almost every three weeks and can reproduce 6-10 pups in that short period of time. Rats become sexually mature when they are three to four months old which means that rats can start producing their pups after four months of being born. A female rat can mate 500 times with various males during a six-hour period of receptivity—a state she experiences about 15 times per year. Rats can produce up to 2000 offspring in a year with an average life span of two to three years.
Rats Can Carry Pathogens That Spread Diseases
Rats can carry pathogens that spread diseases which can potentially affect humans. Rats are known to transmit several potentially fatal diseases to humans, including viral hemorrhagic fever, plague, Weil’s disease, and Q fever. Because of the nutritional value found in a rat’s faeces, rats eat their own faeces, (then eat your food using the same mouth). In order to prevent the spread of diseases, do not eat your food if you suspect that a rat had a party in there.
Rats are social creatures
Most types of rats live in communities where they groom each other, play and sleep together. Rats are said to be very territorial and can become aggressive when unfamiliar rats invade.