Rat Ambassadors need to know their onions. So take a look below for some FAQs and trivia on rats (the wild kind). Some of these obviously apply to our adorable pets, so spread far and wide to bust those myths about these resilient rodents.
How many rats in London?
There is a staggering amount of rats in London. More than people. The last estimate put the number at just under 20 million.
Where do they live?
Rats are like humans, they like to be close to food, water and warmth. Because of this they live in a number of different places. Everyone thinks they live in sewers and this isn’t untrue. But they live in far more places than that. They love the tube, houses, abandoned buildings. They just love humans so much that they’ll live anywhere we do.
What if I have a rat problem?
We really need to stop thinking of animals as a problem. If they are coming into contact with us, it’s because we’re making conditions perfect for them. Ensuring there’s no loose food around and that there’s no ways into your house means they’ll stay away if they can. On the streets of London there’s enough opportunity out and about. Rats will stay away from humans if they can. Of course, if there are hundreds of rats in your house don’t panic. Rats have a bad rap but they’re actually very clean animals. However, housing that many may not be ideal. Call a professional who deals with animal infestations in a humane way. If it’s just one or two, use humane traps and ensure you then do the important thing – take them far from where you found them. If you drop them close to where you live, they’ll just find their way back. They’re smart.
Cool rat facts
They have mutated to be poison resistant
Mutant rats have genetically adapted so rat poison doesn’t kill them. Pest control experts believe this may be due to people using cheap or made-at-home poisons that don’t quite finish off the rodents but actually work as a vaccine. We are vaccinating the rats!
They know how to laugh
One more time: Rats know how to laugh – but only the babies. After 6 months, they lose the ability. So like humans, rats are very social mammals, they express happiness through laughter with a high pitched chirp.
They can swim
With tiny legs and round bodies they might not seem well suited to front crawl, but rats are surprisingly strong swimmers.
Their teeth never stop growing
A rat’s teeth can grow up to 5 inches every year. But, their natural bruxing (grinding their teeth) keeps things in order. Although they don’t have to chew through anything and everything, they do enjoy it as an enrichment activity. Very satisfying.
Some of these were even news to us. Make sure you spread the word and make sure that our rats get some good press. We all know they need it.