You are probably thinking about rats or mice when you heard the word ‘rodent’. But nope, there are actually different types of rodent species, among which rats, mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs are the most well-known. Most rodent species are harmless and can be taken even as pets. However, some can be annoying pests and can even damage your properties. Most rodents are small with sturdy bodies and long tails, and all of them have two front sharp teeth which they use to bite or chew their food. Some rodents are herbivores, eating only seeds or other plant substances. But there are also some that almost everything from woods, paper to even clothes. These are the types of rodents that are often described as pests.
The word “rodent” comes from Latin nomenclature, and it means “to gnaw”. They are well-equipped for this activity through the use of their distinguishing feature – a pair of incisors in the upper and lower jaws. Aside from gnawing food, they use their sharp incisors to break through barriers and to defend themselves. Rodents’ front teeth can grow 4½ to 6 inches each year, so they have to constantly wear them down by gnawing.
Keep reading, as we have gathered more information and some fascinating facts about rodents.
Facts About Rodents
- A 13-pound bull terrier killed 100 rats in 5 minutes and 28 seconds – Rat-baiting was a popular sport in the 19th century in London. This sport involved a man and a dog playing off against hundreds of captured rats in a pit. This record was set by a black and tan bull terrier named Jacko in 1862.
- Rats are smart – Rats are pretty much considered as one of the smartest animals on the planet. Laboratory tests were conducted in 2007 and scientists have discovered that rats can memorize routes, solve puzzles and can learn tricks. They also have the ability to reason and make decisions like humans.
- Their teeth never stop growing – Rodents’ set of teeth continuously grow every day over their lifetime.
- The Giant Rodent – most rodents are small, but there is one barrel-shaped rodent in South America called the Capybara. It can weigh between 36 and 66 kg, and are up to 1 foot tall and 3.48 to 4.40 ft. in length.
- Water is almost unnecessary for rodents – Many rodents can survive a long time without drinking water. This is because they can get fluids from their foods plus they do not sweat.
- Rodents can also feel social pressure – Studies show that rats will often do what the others do. Sometimes they even force themselves to eat food that they do not like just to fit in their group.
Below are the must-knows for home owners who want to get rid of rodent pests at home.
What You Should Know About Rodents
- Some rodents can swim – Mice and Rodents can swim. Rats can tread water for up to three days and can survive after being flushed down the toilet. This is a very ineffective way to get rid of them by the way because they can return to the same building via the same route after flushing them away.
- Rodents reproduce rapidly – Females rats are able to conceive every 4 to 6 weeks and it typically takes less than three weeks for the impregnation period to complete. The mother gives birth to between five to seven pups each time. Parent mice can produce as many as 15 litters in one year and can get pregnant again 24 hours after giving birth. In perfect condition, a nest of mice can deposit 18,000 dropping and 2,500 pups in a six-month period.
- Mice and Rats transmit various diseases to human – Rats are known to transmit fatal diseases to humans. These infections may be spread through their urine dropping, saliva, rodent bite. These diseases include Salmonella, Hantavirus, Q fever, plague, and Leptospirosis.
- Rodents can pass through tight spaces – Rats can simply pass through tight openings. They can squeeze their body through holes as small as 14mm in diameter.
- Rodents do not vomit – Rodents lacks muscle strength in the diaphragm which is structured to move contents up in the throat to vomit. As such, poisoning is the most effective way of killing them.
- Rats eat all the time – Fast metabolism makes them hungry all the time. They can eat up to 20 times a day. They explore and search for food for up to approximately 30 feet outside of their nest. This is another effective way of trapping a rodent -- know where their hideout is.
Do not let your house be a rodents' hiding place. They are capable of spreading and carrying fatal and deadly diseases by consuming and contaminating our food. Most rodents can be extremely dangerous not only because they can damage our property, but also because they are an overall threat to humans’ health. If you notice chew marks and droppings in hidden spaces or hear squeak sounds in your ceiling, it is better to contact a licensed pest control professional to take good care of the problem. Aegis Pest Services can get you covered by our state-of-the-art equipment and methods to ensure the most efficient elimination.
For some other interesting information about rodents, refer to this link.
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