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Rats in the House - Pets or Pests?

By June 29, 2009

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Like many creatures in the natural world, Rats have comparative physical abilities that make human athletes look totally undeveloped. These abilities must be taken into account by the homeowner or Pest Control professional to effectively get rid of rats and to keep them out of homes, schools and workplaces. For instance:

Rat Squeeze: Rats can wriggle through openings as small as 1/2" (1.3 cm) square.

Rat Tightwire Walking: Rats can saunter along horizontal wires easily while Roof Rats can even climb vertical wires.

Tunnel Rats: Rats can crawl up the inside of vertical pipes as small as 1.5" or 3.8 cm, in diameter.

Rats as Outdoor Plumbers: Rats can shimmy up the outside of vertical pipes up to 3" or 7.6 cm, in diameter.

Rats as Plumbers and Electricians: If plumbing pipes or electrical conduit are within 3" or 7.6 cm of a wall, rats can crawl up them, probably even wearing a tiny tool belt.

Rats and Basketball or Volleyball: The pesky rodents can jump 36" or 0.9 m from a flat surface.

Rat Yoginis: From a flat surface, rats can stretch to reach about 13" or 33 cm.

Rat Swimmers and Divers: Even though they may be the last ones off a sinking ship, rats are able to dive and swim underwater for as long as 30 seconds. In open water, they can swim as far as 1/2 mile or 0.8 km. They can use these remarkable aquatic abilities to swim upward through waste pipes and into toilets.

Rats at the Dentist: Equipped with front teeth that continue to grow throughout their lives, rats are gnawing machines, attacking a vast array of materials from wood, lead pipes and cinder block to aluminum, glass, and adobe bricks.

More on Rats
How to Identify Rat Damage and to Get Rid of Them
How to Keep a Rat as a Pet
How to Keep Rats Out of Compost

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