3 Rats Intelligence Facts You Don’t Know

Have you ever wondered why white rats have been used as an animal lab test in the most movie you watched?

Rodents like rats and mice are considered as the dominant mammalian that are commonly used in laboratory testing by researchers and scientist over the years. According to the paper entitled “The Essential Need for Animals in Medical Research” published in 2015 by National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), approximately 95% of laboratory testing has been used rats and mice in their experimental setups.

Besides its small size and don’t need a lot of spaces to test bigger animals, why do rats and mice are commonly used as models in the medical and behavioural study? The short answer to this question is because surprisingly humans and rats are alike!

How are rats similar to humans?


What do rats and humans have in common?

  • Rats and humans are both mammals - Who give birth to live babies and warm-blooded.
  • Rats are extremely social animals and have a similar nervous system to humans - As stated by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), rats are also feeling loneliness, fear and pain like humans. They also emotionally attached to each other and the most interesting thing is that they are also able to love their families as we do!
  • Rats genetic similarity to humans - Rats and humans have at least 30,000 genes and relatively there is 99% of genes in humans have counterparts in the rats (CNN, 2002).
  • Similarities between mice and the human brain - Mice have the same brain functions as humans as well as the similar brain architectures which made up of similar types of brain cells as humans (Live Science, 2019).

These set of facts above prove that rats more or less have shared the similarity with humans in terms of their behaviour, intelligence and emotions. Now another question is do these facts become the main reasons why is so difficult to get rid of rats without enlisting help from the experienced professional pest control company?

Let’s find out 3 rats intelligence facts which you might not know all this time.

1. Rats are suspicious

Rats have a similar nervous system as humans. Thus, it’s not impossible for them to also feel sad and joy or even suspicious like humans. Rat's primary survival skill is they neophobic behaviour, meaning they are fearful of anything unfamiliar in their territory.

Unlike mice which are more curious and might investigate new objects, most rats species inherently suspicious and tend to avoid anything new in their territory for a couple of days until they get used to it. This is why effective baits, bait stations and traps often take a few days or weeks to work perfectly.

2. Urine-marking behaviour

Rats considered a highly social animal which loves to communicate with each other. Rats make use of their urine as a “chemical communication” to other rats which also known as urine-marking behaviour which have different functions in social communication, including:

  • Territorial labelling - Rats will urinate on their environment to create a familiarity with their own territory with other rats.
  • Sexual attractant - Male rat urine more frequent than female rats, and it also leaves an odour that will attract the opposite sex as a signal of their sexual availability.
  • Trail marker - Rats will go out to urinate on many things. This will help them to understand their own journey, in the sense of knowing where they are and where they have been. Rats will also re-mark an object that has been moved to a new place.
  • Food marking - Rats will leave a clue to the other rats, especially to the younger rats in the form of urine on and/or around the foods they interested.

3. Excellent sense of taste and smells


Do you remember a classic kids movie in early 2000 called “Ratatouille” that tells us about a chef-rat named Rémy who has a highly developed sense of taste, smell and even can cook! In real life, rats also have an impressive ability to taste and smell during the foraging too!

Since rats are omnivorous and tend to eat as many foods as possible, the primary purposes of rat’s excellent sense of taste and smell are let them distinguish good and bad food to consume. They can recognize certain taste after just a tiny bite of it through their ‘taste receptors’ which is located in their mouths that are sensitive to taste including rat poisons.

How does pest control get rid of rats?

This article supposed to widen your view on how rats are actually smart enough and can be hard to catch by humans. Even worse, it’s ability and tolerance to well adapted to living among humans, become the main reasons of why rats consider as an inescapable part of urban modern living these days.

While DIY products are might give result in the case of low rat infestation at your property, yet it doesn’t mean that DIY products will able to solve a severe problem at your house completely, especially in a heavily infested house and/or if the repeated infestation keeps occurred.

As part of PEST (Prevention-Exclusion-Sanitation-Treatment) approach, professional rat control service will assist you to ensure that your rat problem will be pressed to the lowest population by conducting:

  • A complete inspection for your house to find out rat's entry point
  • Expert recommendations on prevention, exclusions and sanitations advice that every household can manage before the core treatment conducted by the rat control exterminator:
    • Prevention: To seal the access points find the rat burrows and rat nests inside your house
    • Exclusion: To avoid rats nesting and breed inside the house (i.e placement of unused goods inside the warehouse)
    • Sanitation: Waste management (i.e avoid letting them become overnight trash and requirement to have a trash bin with a lid)
  • Treatment: once these 3 things are done by the household, the professional rat control service will begin the treatment by providing you with the best possible solutions tailored to your needs, such as the usage of tamper-resistant rat bait stations and rat trap

Do you have any rats in the house? Contact us for immediate advice and assistance from a local expert. We’re here to help!