Rat interesting facts are numerous. They are one of the most hunted, feared and dangerous rodents in North America. As a result there has been a lot of research completed with regard to rats. This section highlights some of the more interesting facts about the rats that live in North America.
- Rats are exceptionally apprehensive of new things they may find in a well traveled pathway (this makes trapping a more difficult task).
- Rats won’t let a small barrier like a doorway stop them from getting into a building. They will take whatever route is best:
They have been known to run along or climb electrical wires, pipes, fences, poles, ropes, cables, vines, shrubs, and trees.
Rats will even climb vertical surfaces including wood, brick, concrete, weathered sheet metal, and plastic.
- Rats even use pipes, augers, conveyors, conduit, and underground utility and communications lines to get into a building.
- Rats have powerful teeth and jaws and will gnaw through most anything. They have been known to chew through window screens, wood, rubber and vinyl, but most interestingly, they can and do gnaw their way though lead, aluminum and even weathered concrete.
- Rats have continuously growing incisors that grow at the rate of about five (5) inches in a year.
- Rats are limber and can crawl through or under any opening higher or wider than 1/2 inch!
- They climb vertical pipes and conduits up to 3 inches in diameter.
- Rats will brace themselves between a wall and a pipe to climb pipes larger than three (3) inches in diameter to get into a building.
- Rats can jump from a flat surface up to 36 inches high.
Rats can even jump sideways as far as 48 inches.
- Resiliency is no stranger to the rat species. They can fall 50 feet without being seriously injured!
- Rats will burrow straight down into the ground for at least 36 inches.
- There is not much a rat can’t reach. They are able to stretch as far as thirteen (13) inches!
- Water won’t deter rats from their mission. Rats have been known to swim as far as 1/2 mile in open water.
- Rats travel through sewer drains. It is not uncommon for a rat to gain entry to your home through the toilet. They’d rather pop up in your kitchen sink, but the drains are too small!
- Rats have a super keen sense of smell and can detect contaminants and poisons in their food at levels as low as 0.5 parts per million.
- Rats are colorblind.
- Rats can have up to 20 litters of six (6) to twelve (12) babies in a year!
- Rat droppings that are all the same size can be a sure sign of only one rat, whereas many different sizes of rat scat may indicate an infestation of a breeding population.
- Rats have managed to follow the early settlers from Europe and spread very successfully through North America. From prolific breeding behaviors to the ability to scale the outsides of buildings by wedging themselves between poles and walls there are many rat interesting facts.