When rats appear around your home, there is much cause for concern. Yet beyond keeping them out, we’re willing to bet you don’t think all too often about these scurrying little critters, and even less about some of their unique habits, characteristics, and incredible resiliency.
The Rat Pack
The term “rat pack” actually stems from the fact that rats, like humans, are profoundly social creatures. They need the company of at least one other rat to thrive. For this reason, if you find one rat in your home, there are likely several more lurking around.
Each year rats are responsible for billions of dollars in global damages. Their teeth are stronger than iron and steel, so they can easily gnaw their way through electrical wires, as well as wood and cinder block. Rats also can ruin supplies of food, and are known to bite people, even babies in cribs.
They Spread Like Wildfire
If left unchecked, rat populations can quickly get out of hand. A mother rat’s average litter is between seven and 12 offspring, but litters can range all the way up to 20. Not every rat pup will mature, however, since mother rats will sometimes eat their newborns if they are either unfit to survive, or she is eating out of stress. On top of this, females can give birth up to 5 times per year, and their courting and romantic rituals with male rats can conclude in as fast as a few seconds—talk about getting down to business.
Tough as Nails
Rats are incredibly adaptable, which is why they can survive in many different regions of the world. A rat is able to go without water for a longer period of time than a camel, and can swim at least a half a mile. Many scientists believe they will outlast human beings on Earth by a wide margin, and could be one of the few species to survive a mass extinction.
In some places, especially in southeast Asia, parts of Africa, and China, rats are a common food source. But there are also places in India where rats are revered as representatives of the god Ganesha.
They Don’t Clean Up After Themselves
Addressing a rat infestation with haste is crucial. Even after an infestation is eliminated, the acrid smell of rat urine and droppings can linger in your home without the help of professional grade cleaning and odor control.
If you’re struggling with a pest infestation of any sort, and live in the Amherst or greater Western New York area, visit Amherst Exterminators today, and contact us to set up an appointment.