Rodents like mice and rats can seem cute and cuddly in a cage or a Disney movie, but they can also be a menace to your property! Here are 10 interesting facts about these common critters:
- Their teeth never stop growing! One of the defining characteristics of a rodent is a set of teeth that continuously grow over their lifetime. Rodents always need something to gnaw on to keep their incisors trimmed, so that’s why they can cause so much damage.
- A rat’s teeth and jaws can gnaw through substances as hard as lead sheeting and cinder block.
- The fear of mice and rats is scientifically called “musophobia,” from the Latin word “mus,” meaning “mouse.” It is also known as “murophobia,” from the word “murine.” This word comes from “Muridae,” the scientific term for the family of animals that includes mice and rats.
- Mice and rats can spread at least 35 diseases to humans, according to the CDC. These diseases include salmonellosis, hantavirus, and rat-bite fever. The infections may be spread through droppings, urine, saliva, rodent bites, or through fleas or ticks that have fed on an infected rodent (like the bubonic plague!).
- A female mouse can have up to 15 litters in one year, and can get pregnant again 24 hours after giving birth. For one mouse, the average litter size is 10-12. They can start to reproduce at only six weeks of age, so it doesn’t take long for a few mice to create an infestation.
- Rats are vulnerable to peer pressure, just like humans! Scientists found that rats will force themselves to eat food they don’t like if they know that some of their fellow rats have eaten it.
- Rats can squeeze through openings as small as 13 mm in diameter— about half an inch!
- Because they can get fluids from foods, many rodents can survive a long time without drinking water.
- Rats are among the smartest animals on the planet, often ranked in the company of dolphins and chimpanzees! They can memorize routes and solve puzzles, which means they can often find their way back into a shelter if their “usual” entrance has been blocked off.
- Don’t try to get rid of a rat by flushing it down the toilet! They can hold their breath for a long time and tread water for as long as three days.
Carolina Pest Management is a family-owned business that has been addressing the needs of residents in Charlotte, North Carolina, and its surrounding areas since 1939! Over the past four generations, we have adapted to many changes in pest control, and are working to make pest-control methods safer and greener. Carolina Pest Management also offers wildlife removal and moisture control. We are available by phone or through our convenient online contact form.