10 Interesting Facts About Rats That Will Surprise You



Rats as pests might become very annoying when you find them nesting in various places inside your home and to make matters worse, rats can also make a considerable mess.

Regardless of how disgusting it is to see rats roaming inside your house, rats are considered as smart animals and have many interesting sides to know.

Among some facts about rats that Rentokil prepare, we believe there are some points that make you increasingly aware if there's no shortcut to getting rid of rats by yourself at home besides enlisting the help of a professional rat exterminator​​​​​​​.

Facts about rats

Here are 10 interesting facts about rats that will surprise you!

  1. Rats have a good memory
  2. Rats are social animals
  3. Rats are very suspicious
  4. Rats are very clean and really hate getting dirty
  5. Rats are color-blind and have a poor eyesight
  6. Rats are excellent climbers, jumpers, and swimmers
  7. Rats have sharp teeth
  8. Rats have an incredible tail function
  9. There are more than 60 species of rat in the world
  10. Rats breed non-stop

Click one of the facts above to directly see the brief description about the rat fact.

1. Rats have a good memory


Have you ever wondered why rats are always being used in laboratory experiments? Yes, rats are not only highly intelligent animals, but they also have great memories too. Rats are able to map out a room and will remember all of the routes to get around for a long time.

2. Rats are social animals

Research on rodent behavioral studies revealed that rodents are actually very sociable critters, and rats become one of the most social rodents of all. They will prefer to live in a group with other rats and very attached to their family.

Rats are also known as "commensal rodents" due to their ability to have intimate relationships with humans. Rats usually take advantage of its commensal ability to live close to humans by nesting inside the house and eat human food when available without you even noticing.

Learn more about: Where do rats nest in houses?

3. Rats are very suspicious


Did you ever think that rats are so hard to trap? Here’s the answer: Rats are naturally suspicious of anything new in their environment.

It takes a while, between a day or two for rats to get used to the trap. Thus, when you set-up the rat traps in their environments, don't be surprised if the results are never instant and it will take time for the traps to have an impact.

4. Rats are very clean and really hate getting dirty

Despite their general reputation as a filthy animal, who would think that rats are actually considered as a very clean animal and really hate getting dirty! Rats will groom themselves regularly for a few hours in a day, even more, frequent than cats!

5. Rats are color-blind and have a poor eyesight


Rats generally have a poor eyesight and as in color-blind human beings, rats perceive certain colors as shades of gray.

Despite its lack of vision, rats have a highly sensitive sense of touch through their whiskers. They will use their whiskers as a sensory cue to support their day-to-day activities, such as touching an object, navigate the direction and find and discriminate against food.

6. Rats are excellent climbers, jumpers and swimmers

Generally, all species of rats are incredibly quick and agile as you can see in a dog or cat. Don’t believe us? Here are some fascinating “record” that rats can achieve through its agility:

  • Black rats are superior climbers and can climb any slightly rough surface up or down
  • Brown rats are able to jump 77cm vertically and 120cm horizontally
  • Rats can swim and wade water for up to three days and hold their breath for a long time

7. Rats have sharp teeth

Rats have very sharp teeth (incisors) that grow continuously throughout their lives. Their strong and sharp teeth have multiple functions including defense tools and weapons to destroy hard objects for gaining entry access inside your house through the wall or roof.

However, rats' sharp teeth can be a blessing and disaster for them at the same time. Rats still have to control their strong teeth or their teeth will uncontrollably grow and will kill themselves.

This is the reason why they will sharpen their teeth by chewing or gnawing on objects as tough as aluminum, wood, wire mesh as well as soft materials like plastic and electrical cables which can be a fire hazard.

8. Rats have an incredible tail function


Rats use their tails for balancing purposes. More than that, their tails can be used as a communication tool with other rats as well as to control or adjust their body in the right temperatures.

9. There are more than 60 species of rat in the world

According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) there are more than 60 species of rat that can be found worldwide. All of them come in varying sizes, from a few inches to as big as 10 inches.

There are two rat species that are commonly found in both private homes and business property in Indonesia:

  • The brown rat (Rattus norvegicus, also called the common or Norway rat)
  • The black rat (Rattus rattus, also called the roof rat)

Learn more the difference between rats vs mice here

10. Rats breed non-stop

Unlike other pests, rats do not have a breeding season and are well-known as fast breeders because of their behavior to breed non-stop in a short period of time.

A female rat typically gives birth six litters a year consisting of 12 rat pups, although 5-10 pups are more common. Rats reach sexual maturity after 4-5 weeks, meaning that a population can swell from two rats to around 1,250 in one year, with the potential to grow exponentially.

Rentokil rat control services

Rentokil understands that the rat problems can be very distressing for any property owner. Rentokil rat extermination focuses on quick, safe, and effective solutions that will provide you with long-lasting protection against rats at your property.

Don’t wait for another moment, contact us online to schedule an appointment for rat control service at your property.