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Rodents are a pretty big pest problem in Australia…

Although they are not as deadly as spiders or as common as termites. Rodent infestations can still cause big problems for your home and your family…

We always advise that the best pest control is being in control of your home, knowing the risks and keeping up to date with local pest control problems.

So how much do you know about rodents?

Here are some scary rat facts…


#1. Rats can cause a lot of damage

rat facts rat damage

Wires damaged by knawing rats


If a rat gets into your property it’s most likely they will set up home under your flooring or in the roof space.

Both of these places are vital to the buildings structure and contain a lot of wires and important stuff for your house…

Not a great place for rats to be hanging out…

Rats are destructive animals. Their front teeth grow quickly (they can reach up to 6 inches a year) and so they spend a lot of time knawing on anything that is front of them. This could be wire, insulating materials, pipes or even concrete or brickwork.

And like all animals they also have a habit of pooing and weeing a lot! This can cause a lot of damage to electrical meters or generators and insulating material.

#2. Rats can spread disease


It’s a myth that all rats can pass on Rabies. Very few species of rodents carry the Rabies virus.

rat facts plague in Sydney

Early 1900’s rat catchers in Sydney during the plague

However rats do have a lot of other nasty bugs and viruses you wouldn’t want to expose your family to…

You might think the Bubonic Plague is just something from the Middle Ages…

But it’s not. Rats can still carry the black death bug (it’s actually the rat’s fleas that are infected) and there have been cases of the Bubonic Plague in rodent infested areas in modern times.

The last recorded plague in Australia occurred in Sydney only 100 years ago..

Rats are also known to carry some other nasty and potentially fatal diseases including viral haemorrhagic fever, Weil’s disease, and Q fever.

Pregnant women should be always be careful around rat infested areas as they can contract the Toxoplasmosis virus (the same one you can catch from cat litter) from parasites that rats carry.

#3. Rats multiply quickly


Rats are baby-making machines!

During mating season a female rat can mate up to 500 times in a 6 hour period. A rat’s litter can contain anywhere from 4 to 20 babies and pregnancy only takes around a month.

Meaning a pair of rats can make up to 2,000 babies a year.

So if you see a rat it’s unlikely that they are alone…

Rats normally nest together in large groups all around your property.

#4. Rats attract other pests


rat facts snakes

Rodents make a tasty snack for snakes

The mess that rats leave behind them attracts insects and nasty bugs. Rats also leave clear pathways into your home that other pests could find an use.

And a rat infestation can attract snakes.

Snakes often appear in rodent infested areas as they prey on rats. If you start seeing a lot of snakes in your area it might mean that they’ve found a nearby rodent food source…

#5. Rats are VERY difficult to get rid of…


Rat proofing your home is a really hard job.

Rats can get in anywhere…

They can fit through gaps the size of 50 cent pieces, chew through metal or concrete and climb through pipes or swim through water.

They are really tough too. Rats can swim for half a mile, tread water for 3 days, survive five story falls and live without water for longer than a camel.

And they’re smart enough not to get caught. Rats instinctively don’t like going near alien objects or getting inside anything they haven’t already sniffed out so humane catcher traps rarely work.

And shop bought rat poisons are never a good idea either.

The first problem is obvious…

rat poison rat facts

Always be careful with rat poison pellets

Having poison laying around your home with no professional direction is not a good idea if you have curious children or pets.

The second problem is it’s known fact that through generations rats build up tolerances to certain types of poison. Meaning that shop bought poisons may not be effective.

And then there is the issue of what to do if the poison works. Nobody wants dead rotting rat bodies floating around their home!

If you’re worried about rats or think you have a rat problem on your property…

Do your research, check for signs of an infestation and check out professional pest control options available to you. As with all pest control a rat infestation is always easier to tackle the quicker you get started!

Have you had problems with rats? Let us know your experiences in the comments below…