Rats the Ultimate Survivors

Why are Rats so successful despite our efforts?

What makes rats such resilient rodents? They have a long list of impressive characteristics that have allowed them to survive for so long.

Believed to have roamed the earth with dinosaurs, rats have outlived several mass extinctions, an ice age, atomic bombs and meteors. Even their 75-million-year-old bite marks live on today in fossilized bones.

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The resilient rodents come with a portfolio of physical and behavioral capabilities that make them the ultimate survivors. They can tread water for up to three days, land uninjured from a 50-foot fall, squeeze through the tiniest crevices and reproduce prolifically.

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Let’s take a look at some of the impressive characteristics that have allowed this pest to stick around for so long and what pest control operators can do about rats’ growing populations.

BODY. Rats possess a unique set of bodily characteristics that enable them to access almost any space, squeeze through almost any hole and jump from almost any surface. Among the smallest of mammals, rats have flexible skeletons, so they can wiggle through openings as small in diameter as a quarter. This is because their rib cage can collapse to their spine! If you’re considering flushing the furry foe down the toilet, chances are it’ll survive. Rats can swim over a mile in the open water. And if you’re waiting for a cold winter to wipe them out, think again. Rats’ furry coats keep them warm during extremely cold temperatures, and their tails allow them to regulate their body temperature by expanding and contracting their blood vessels.

DIET. As omnivores, rats can (and do) eat almost anything. Their primary provider of food? Humans. With the right access to food, shelter and water, rats will likely set up shop and start building a community. Water doesn’t rank particularly high on that list, as a rat can go longer without water than a camel. These creatures don’t typically try new foods, and when they do, they try them in small amounts. They love citrus, nuts, seeds and  particularly macadamia nuts!

TEETH. In addition to allowing them to enjoy an assortment of food, a rat’s impressive set of choppers also helps them chew through much more. The creature’s front teeth grow 4½ to 5½ inches each year and are harder than iron or steel. Their strong, sharp molars enable them to chew through almost anything, including cinder blocks, wood, bricks and lead pipes, just to name a few.

BEHAVIOR. Rats possess fascinating behavioral characteristics that make them extremely hard to catch and difficult to separate from their furry friends. They’re exceptionally timid creatures and secretive by nature. Rats operate at night, can see in the dark and are always on alert. All of this is to say, it’s quite rare to surprise a rat. This is why people don’t typically realize they have rats until an entire family is living in their walls. Once rats are seen in the day or out in the open, you have a real problem.

Rats are also highly social animals. When meeting other rats for the first time, they’ll smell each other’s breath to determine where their new rat associate has been and what it has been eating. They’re also affectionate creatures. Believed to feel sympathy, empathy and depression, rats will take care of injured and sick rats in their group before taking care of themselves.

REPRODUCTION. Even if you’re able to outsmart these highly adaptable creatures and get rid of a few rats, you likely will only scratch the surface of the problem. The number one survival trait that has allowed rats to survive for millions of years is their ability to reproduce vastly and quickly. With a gestational period of approximately 21 days, rats are baby-making machines. Their pups become fertile at as young as five weeks of age. Thus, what started as a pair of rats can turn into as many as 1,000 rats in one year.

DISEASE:  Some rat populations have deadly diseases. However some do not. The Vancouver rat study found that Pest Control companies would be effective in exterminating rats in one area when called in by a company. They found that by exterminating one group of rats, with time other groups of  rats moved into the "vacant lot". These "new" rats could be diseased.  Also the study found that rats could transfer disease to humans, that been well documented historically, but that humans could transfer disease to rats. They  found rats turning up with human diseases, from the homeless population at the Port where the study was carried out.

Rats are smart, But ACES rodents is smarter, get in contact today to be rat free