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Rat Fact File

Whilst it is said you are never more than 20 feet from a rat, you don’t want that 20 feet to be somewhere in your house! Here, we look at some useful rat facts and what you should do if you discover them in your home.

What you need to know about rats

In order to understand rats and the implications that they pose to you and your property we thought we would explain a little bit more about this creature, it’s habitat, how it survives, the diseases it carries and a few interesting rat facts.

  • Genus: Rattus
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Family: Muridae

Rats are members of the genus, Rattus. There is the black rat, Rattus Rattus and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus. They are what are known as true rats. There are other members of the rodent family that have similar characteristics and appearance but aren’t actually true rats.

The main factor that differentiates rats from mice and other rodents is their size. Rats are much larger although in the wild they rarely weigh over 500g.

keep rats out

Origins of the rat

The rat originates from Asia and is thought to have managed to infiltrate large parts of the world due to its uncanny knack of stowing away on ships.


Male rats are known as bucks, female rats are known as does. A group of rats is known as a mischief


Rats are what are known as opportunistic survivors therefore they often live close to humans where they can easily find sources of food and shelter.


Rats are known to carry and transmit diseases therefore you don’t want to be sharing your home with them! Perhaps the most famous disease, which is believed to have been transmitted by rats, is the Black Death which was thought to have been caused by a micro-organism carried by the tropical rat flea. Foot and mouth is another disease that is attributed to rats. Rats are known to carry pathogens including LeptospiraToxoplasma gondii, and Campylobacter.


While it is difficult to determine the lifespan of a rat it is thought that they only live for about a year. This is largely due to predation.


A female rat can breed as much as 500 times within a six-hour period. This period is known as a period of receptivity. This receptivity happens approx. 15 times a year. If you do those maths you can see why it is critical to keep rat numbers under control! A mating pair can produce 2,000 offspring per year.

how to get rid of Plymouth rats

Interesting rat facts

  • Rat’s teeth grow 4.5 to 5.5 inches per year but they grind them down by their constant gnawing on everything – pipes, wood, trees, cement, bricks and anything else that gets in their way.
  • A rat can survive being flushed down the toilet and can actually tread water for three days.
  • Rats don’t like to live alone. They tend to suffer from loneliness and depression. If one of their group is sick they will take care of them.
  • When a rat plays they omit a happy laughter sort of sound.

What to do if you have a rat in your home

Rats cause damage with their constant gnawing. they can chew through wood, pipes and electrical cables making them a fire hazard as well as a nuisance. They also spread diseases. if you think you have a rat in your home then it is imperative that you call in pest control experts to remove these pests. they will not only remove your guests but also help to ensure that they don’t find their way in again.

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ken miller
ken miller
Had a very large wasp nest in my loft, which was sorted very quickly and professionally. Would definitely recommend and use again.
Sophie Stubbs
Sophie Stubbs
Absolutely fantastic service from Matthew. Good communication, kept to time and made us feel as ease about having pests on the house! Thank you so much!
We had a great service from Falcon. They were efficient. Responsive and informative. Mo (Mohammad) was really friendly, kind, efficient and gave us great information that was really interesting. We had been struggling with a hornets nest, he advised it was the biggest he had seen. He was really kind and gave a great service and they have all gone now! I highly recommend Falcon and their team, from when I called up to the end result was 5*. Khara Pierre
daniel m
daniel m
Again! Falcon environmental services to the rescue. Excellent service from matthew and the team at Falcon environmental. Expert knowledge as always! Very informative. Solved the pest control problem i had. Would highly recommend. 5 star service.
Jan Smith
Jan Smith
Can highly recommend Falcon. The office staff were very professional, polite and communication excellent informing me when & what time visits were to happen. Mo visited several times & was always courteous, informed me what he was going to do & showed me pictures of the loft so I could see what he was doing. He answered questions & was reassuring. Good experience all round
Susan Williams
Susan Williams
Customer service excellent and certainly know what they are doing. Communication good and immediate response to my initial approach. Mo, the gentleman who attended was very knowledgeable and a lovely man. We would recommend this company.
Rose Chapman
Rose Chapman
I was recommended Falcon to remove a wasp nest from the fascia’s which turned out to be two nests. I can’t rate them highly enough and their quick response was thoroughly followed up until completely sorted. They are honest, friendly and reliable and I would not hesitate to recommend them. It is great to support local people who are good at their work and this is a team who really deserve exactly this. Thank you.
Ros Durston
Ros Durston
I received a highly professional and genuinely caring service. I would not hesitate to recommend them and to use them again.
Kate Jennings
Kate Jennings
Matthew was extremely thorough and very professional and informative. It was unnecessary to take any further steps as there was no evidence of mice.

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