Five Unusual Facts About Rats

The old adage says that you are never more than six feet away from a rat – and while this may be an exaggeration, the current population of this destructive rodent has been estimated to be as high as 80million in the UK.

Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions are experts in dealing with rat problems in Clacton, Colchester, Ipswich and across the region. We can get rid of these unwanted rodent visitors quickly, and we use discreet, unmarked vans if you prefer.

Here are our five unusual facts about rats.

They Grind Their Teeth

Rats grind their teeth partly to make sure their front teeth, or incisors, do not get too long. These grow throughout their lifetime and grinding them together is one way of keeping them in check. This behaviour is also known as chattering.

Another way in which rats restrict the growth of their teeth is by gnawing objects such as woodwork or electric wiring. This causes damage to buildings and can also lead to potential fire hazards.

The rodents also grind their teeth in times of stress, such as when they see another rat which they do not recognise, or when it experiences pain. There is also some evidence to suggest that they also do this when they are relaxed, rather like a cat when it purrs.

They Have Poor Eyesight

Compared to humans, rats have poor depth perception and they cannot see well more than a few feet away. They use their sensitive whiskers to help feel out their immediate environment. These can often be their first point of contact with walls, objects and other rats.

The rodent’s other senses, such as smell and hearing, are extremely well developed and these also help to compensate for their poor vision.

They Are Sociable Creatures

Scientific studies have shown that without the company of fellow rats, the rodents can become lonely and depressed. They also have an urge to conform with other rats in their group, even to the extent of eating food they don’t find particularly tasty. This is because they have seen fellow rodents eating it.

Their Tails Are Very Important

Like its whiskers, a rat’s tail also performs a number of important functions. It allows the rodent to keep its balance, helps to regulate its body temperature and allows it to communicate with fellow rats.

Balance is important for these rodents because of the number of ropes, fences, tree branches they climb up and over. The position of the tail is crucial for giving him the correct centre of gravity when carrying out these manoeuvres, rather like a circus performer on a high wire.

The tail has no fur and a lot of blood vessels. This means if the rat is too hot, the blood will lose heat in the tail as the vessels swell. The blood then returns to the body at a lower temperature. If the rat’s temperature drops, then the vessels in the tail shrink, restricting blood flow, preserving the body heat.

If a rat is excited, they will swish their tail from side to side. Alternatively, it will flick it from side to side in a wide arc to demonstrate that it is upset about something.

They Are A Sign of the Chinese Zodiac

The rat is one of 12 creatures in the Chinese Zodiac – others include the dog, the snake, the tiger and the goat.

The last time China celebrated the Year of the Rat was 2008, and the next one is due in 2020. People born in this year are are believed to be creative, intelligent, honest, ambitious and generous – all characteristics that the Chinese associate with the rodent.

Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions Can Solve Your Rat Problem

Left unchecked, rats can do a large amount of damage to your home or business because of their habit of chewing or gnawing through things. They also carry a number of diseases including Weils Disease, E.Coli and Salmonella.

At Essex and Suffolk Pest Solutions we are highly experienced in dealing with unwanted invasions of rats. We will carry out a full site survey to determine the nature and extent of the problem. We typically use anti-coagulant baits to get rid of the rodents, but we can also employ more direct methods – such as trapping and removal – if required. Usually we find that three visits are necessary to get rid of them completely.

We can solve rat problems in Clacton, Maldon, Chelmsford, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Woodbridge and throughout the region. If you would like to know more about our rat control treatments in Suffolk and Essex, click here.

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