Winter is here. We humans feel naturally inclined to stay indoors at this time of year in order to avoid the cold and gain greater warmth and to shelter from the inclement and, at time, tempestuous weather. The same can be said of many mammals; indeed, certain mammals enter a state of torpor and go into hibernation mode at this time of year. Rats seek warmth, dryness and shelter during the winter months and when denied their natural habitats they migrate towards our domestic and commercial premises. It is quite possible that this will result in a preponderance of rat infestations. At Pestcotek, we are equipped with the latest technologies and trained in the most current methods for dealing with this phenomenon. If you suspect an infestation of either rats or mice at this time of year – and it is more likely – contact Pestcotek. Here are some fascinating facts about these rodents, which are known to inspire terror in some people
  1. Rats have the capacity to transmit some serious and potentially fatal diseases. These include plague, Weil’s disease, viral heorrhagic fever, Q fever and rabies
  2. It is rare that a human to contract rabies from a rat, however. The black rat (Rattus rattus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), also known as the Norway rat, can be found all over the world. Their global presence results from a high degree of skill in stowing away on board ship.
  3. A pairing of brown rats is able to reproduce 2000 times in a year if they are left to breed without intervention. This is because a female rat can mate as many as 500 times with a variety of males within a period of six hours. The female rate experiences this six-hour state 15 times per annum.
  4. Rats do not have the function of perspiration – they do not sweat. The constriction and expansion of blood vessels in their tails regulates their temperature
  5. Rats do not have tonsils or gall bladders.
  6. An individual rats will for between 2 to 3 years on average.
  7. A rat can survive being flushed down the toilet and is capable of returning to a building in via the same route. Indeed, a rat can tread water for three days
  8. Research carried out recently reveals that reducing the calorific intake of rats increases their longevity. (It’s difficult to starve the out)
  9. Some rats live in remote habitats such as rain forests and marshland – far away from humans. Of the 56 known species, by no means all live with us.
  10. In Deshnoke in India, the visitor will find a Hindu temple dedicated Karni Mata: the rat goddess. The temple houses more than 20 000 rats. People believe that the rats are the reincarnation of Karni Mata and here clansmen. People travel from far and wide to honour them
  11. In 2006 a group of Tel Aviv University scientists created a brain chip using rat neurons
  12. Rats eat their own faeces for their nutritional content
  13. In June 2006, one Roger Dier was found in his one-bedroom flat in California overrun by more than 1000 brown rats. He had started to keep the after feeling pity for those he had been feeding to his pet python
  14. Rat baiting was a popular sport in 19th century London. A man or dog would be pitted against hundreds of rats. The canine record was set by a bull terrier called Jacko in 1862. He killed 100 rats in 5 minutes 28 seconds
  15. A rat can fall 500 feet to the ground without being injured
  16. Queen Victoria’s rat catcher – Jack Black – found a number of colour variations in the brown rat. He domesticated those that he caught and supplied people with them as pets. Customers included Queen Victoria herself.
  17. A rats front incisor teeth grow around 12cm in one year. These front teeth are worn down of course by their use on all sort of materials such as wood, lead, brick, plastic and cement
  18. According to Chinese astrology, you are a rat if you were born in the years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984 and 1996. The qualities of those born in the year of the rat include resourcefulness and a quick wittedness.